South Africa: Man rapes 7-year-old in restaurant

The suspected rapist (arrowed)
The suspected rapist (arrowed)
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The case of a man accused of raping a seven-year-old girl in a bathroom of a Pretoria restaurant was postponed on Tuesday for further investigation.

Advocate Sanet Jordaan asked for the postponement in order to bring an application to obtain the accused’s cellphone for “forensic downloading”.

The man, wearing a grey hoodie to obscure his face, did not apply for bail. He faces a charge of rape‚ possession of drugs‚ intimidation and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Legal Aid attorney Rian du Plessis, who is representing the accused, also asked for a postponement. Du Plessis listed several injuries sustained by the man during his arrest, claiming the accused was hit with open hands and belts by police officers at the Silverton Police Station. Police officers also allegedly kicked him and forced him to do push-ups.

Magistrate Marley Mokoena postponed the matter to November 1 for further investigation.

The accused allegedly watched the little girl in the restaurant play area and later followed her to the bathroom. According to patrons‚ the mother of the child went looking for her after she noticed she was not in the play area. She allegedly caught her daughter’s attacker in the act.

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A video purportedly taken moments after the rape ordeal depicted a naked man‚ partly covered in blood. The government has called on people not to share the “disturbing video”.

Different political parties, civic organisations and members of the society joined hands outside court in a fight against rape of children and women in the country.

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, who met with the family of the Dros restaurant victim, said they are “taking it very very hard”.

Msimanga said he met with members of the family on Monday to offer support and to remind them that they are behind them.

ANC Youth League Tshwane regional chairperson Lesego Makhubela said an end needed to be put to crimes against women and children.

Makhubela said there were several other cases of similar nature that go unreported.

“We need to liberate the victims so that victims start coming out. We are hoping that the courts and law enforcement agencies will start acting and take this seriously,” he said.

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