A second elderly Kenton-on-Sea man accused of raping young girls was denied bail in the Magistrate’s court yesterday.
The news was greeted with loud cheers from protesters outside the court building.
Magistrate CBJ Wright said because of the seriousness of the child rape allegations, it was up to defence attorney Basil Williams to convince the court that exceptional circumstances existed for the accused to be released.
Earlier, Williams argued that even though no exceptional circumstances existed for the man’s release from the defence side, the state’s case against the 68-year-old man was weak and “sketchy at best”.
He said that even though the man faced two charges of child rape, medical evidence produced to the court showed only one girl was not a virgin anymore.
Williams also said the address given where the rape allegedly took place was not the residence the accused rented.
The man, who according to legislation cannot be named due to the nature of the crime until he has pleaded, told the court during testimony that he did not pose a flight risk as he owned a business locally that employed six people who relied on him for income.
He was arrested three weeks ago along with another elderly man, who has been charged separately for similar offences.
The other man was denied bail on Friday by magistrate Louis Muller, who recused himself from hearing the second application yesterday.
Although the defence argued yesterday the man did not pose a flight risk, it emerged during questioning by state prosecutor Chwayita Mkhwayimba that he was a Zimbabwean citizen who had been living illegally in South Africa for 18 years.
She argued he did not have South African residency, owned no property in the country and was running an illegal business that was not even registered with the South African Revenue Service.
Mkhwayimba said he also had no dependants and was indeed a flight risk.
Although not required to plead yesterday, the man said he was innocent of all charges and wanted to prove this when the trial started.
He claimed he was also not capable of rape as he was “impotent” and said he was deeply religious.
The man arrived in the dock clutching a Bible and said he had managed to convert eight suspects in the holding cells when he last came to court.
Investigating officer Constable Linda Tele, of the Family, Child and Sexual Offences Unit, said the children claimed they were raped between December last year and July at the man’s house.
A witness testified that she had lived with the man for several months and had never seen the girls in his rented flat.
The man will appear in court again on October 20.