The Atteridgeville Magistrates’ Court denied bail to a 42-year-old Zimbabwean national. He is facing a charge of rape for allegedly raping his 8-years old stepdaughter. The accused and the mother of the victim are in a love relationship and were staying together at Phomolong informal settlement in Atteridgeville.

On 27 April 2024, the 8-year-old was left at home with the accused and a 5-year-old child which the accused shares with the mother of the victim, while the mother had gone to work, and the accused was going to work a night shift. It is alleged that when the two children were sitting in the sitting room watching TV. The 5-year-old left her 8-year-old sibling and went to the toilet. While at the toilet it is alleged that the accused called the victim to his room. When the 5-year-old returned to the sitting room where they were both watching TV and could not find the victim, she called out for her. It is alleged that the father responded from the room and told the 5-year-old that the victim had gone out to the shops.

After the 5-year-old realised that the victim had not left the house she stood outside the house waiting for the mother to return from work. When the mother arrived and the accused had gone to work, the 5-year-old told the mother that the accused lied and said the victim had gone to the shops while she was still inside the house. The mother then enquired with the victim, who then told her that the stepfather raped her and has been raping her. The mother then took the child to the police station where they reported the matter.

The accused was arrested the following day on 28 April 2024, at their home when he returned from work. In court, the accused denied committing the office. Through his legal representative, the accused asked to be released on bail, because he was a breadwinner for the family and needed to continue to provide for them. He further told the court that he intends to plead not guilty to the charges against him.

However, the state prosecutor Belinda Williamson, opposed the accused release on bail and told the court that the accused committed a serious offence which falls under schedule 6 offences. Furthermore, the accused was known to the victim since he was in a relationship with the mother of the victim and can therefore influence the victim to withdraw charges and threaten her since he had previously threatened and told her not to tell anyone about the rape incidents.

The Magistrate agreed with the state and said he found that the accused did not prove that exceptional circumstances existed, which in the interest of justice permits his release on bail.

The matter was postponed to 23 May 2024 for transfer to the Regional Court E.

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