The Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga has granted bail to an African National Congress Provincial Executive ember and his stepson who are both accused of rape.
The pair are accused of raping two eight-year-old girls. The two suspects, who cannot be named due to the safety of the children, were granted R20 000 bail each.
SABC Reporter Tumelo Machogo gives background:
State believes it has a strong case
State Prosecutor, Catherine Mnisi, says the state has a strong case against the suspects. She adds that the court should consider that gender-based violence remains a major problem in the country.
Mnisi, who was emotional during her closing arguments, said children are less likely to lie about being raped.
Defence argues otherwise
However, the legal representative of the suspects, Mduduzi Nkosi, says the state does not have a strong case against the suspects. He questioned how the state is going to prove that the victims were penetrated if DNA tests were not conducted. This is after the investigating officer revealed that the DNA samples were not taken from the victims because, by the time they were taken to a doctor, 72 hours had already passed.
Nkosi also claimed that another investigating officer and a social worker attempted to force the biological mother to sign a statement that was already written.
He says the statement said the mother had interacted with the children before signing, which was not true. Nkosi also says there is a possibility that the case is politically-motivated.
Residents are divided over the issue with some saying that this is a smear campaign against the ANC member :
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