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Rape-accused DA councillor gets bail as his supporters pack Cape Town court

Rape-accused DA councillor gets bail as his supporters pack Cape Town court
The South African Police Service (SAPS) outside the Cape Town Magistrates' Court on 3 May 2021. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

A councillor in the City of Cape Town has appeared in court on charges of rape and sexual assault, following his arrest last week.

A City of Cape Town ward councillor appeared in the Wynberg Magistrateas’ Court on Monday morning, on charges of rape and sexual assault. 

The State did not oppose bail and the councillor was released on bail of R1,000.

Outlining his bail conditions on Monday, magistrate Goolam Bawa said the rape suspect is prohibited from contacting the victim or other State witnesses, directly or indirectly. He is also not permitted to visit the victim’s residency or place of work. 

Daily Maverick understands that the councillor was arrested on Friday on a charge of rape. News24 reported that a DA ward councillor in the City of Cape Town had been arrested on Friday on a charge of rape.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg confirmed to Daily Maverick that the arrest of a 56-year-old had been made, but was unable to provide details about the case. 

When the councillor appeared in court on Monday, the courtroom was filled with residents who were in support of the councillor, and Daily Maverick understands there is a petition circulating in support of him, with more than 1,800 signatures.

This was in stark contrast to a protest on Friday, where residents of his ward gathered outside the Philippi Police Station, demanding the removal of the councillor. 

A community activist told Daily Maverick this was not the councillor’s first known instance of gender-based violence, since there were women in the community who had been mistreated by him and had also volunteered on the promise of jobs.

“When I heard about the violence, I went down and supported because I am tired of women being bullied by men for doing good work and they are used and misused by men,” the activist said. 

‘Surprised he’s still alive’

Lucinda Evans, director of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu Women’s Centre, said she wanted to see the DA take a decision on the matter that would give her, as a community leader, some faith in their systems that would allow women to feel safe in the community. 

“As a human rights defender, I would want to challenge the DA federal and minister of social development to take a decision to suspend this councillor until the court case is finished… This province, if they are very serious about the human rights violation that makes women feel unsafe… I want to see the DA people take a position and side with the victim,” said Evans. 

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DA MP and constituency head for Oostenberg North, Denis Joseph, told Daily Maverick that while the DA “is coming out strongly against gender-based violence” and allegations of rape, “the campaign against [the councillor is not new”.

“I’m actually surprised that he’s still alive, because there’s been attempts to really go after him. So, this is one of the attempts,” said Joseph, adding that many voters in the area were “shocked” by the allegations.

“While we need to make sure that the victim is protected and there’s a process, the law will take its course and the court will rule on that,” said Joseph. 

The case has been postponed to 6 December 2022 for further investigation.

The accused’s identity has been withheld. The Criminal Procedure Act prohibits the disclosure of any details about a charge of sexual offences until the accused has pleaded. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • virginia crawford says:

    Why go and support someone accused of sexual violence? The conviction rate is so low so he’ll probably get off anyway, guilty or not. Is to show women that complaining is futile or is because these supporters believe his behaviour is okay? Like Trump and Zuma.

    • Malcolm McManus says:

      The world is quite an evil place. It was not long ago an innocent mans life was destroyed by an allegation. I am sure many other innocent men have become victims of cry wolf. Nevertheless, in my view the DA should push for speedy justice to prevail. Push for a full and unbiased investigation and let the law take its course. I believe suspension is in order, but if the so called perpetrator is found to be innocent and the accuser falsifying a claim they must face the full might of the law.

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