ANC, EFF join at case of rape accused councillor

The University of Fort Hare.
The University of Fort Hare.
Image: Rod Bally

The bail application of a 48-year-old ANC councillor in the Eastern Cape’s Raymond Mhlaba municipality in Alice, who is accused of raping a 21-year-old University of Fort Hare student, was postponed to Monday.

Among ANC and EFF leaders who attended the hearing were ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi, ANC MP and former sport MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa and local councillors. 

Ngcukaitobi said: “As the ANC, we don’t care about your position in society or party, we always side with the victims and their families.

“Another thing we pride ourselves on is taking action against perpetrators within our party.”

Raymond Mhlaba municipality EFF councillor Siphiwo Mavuso, who sat next to the ANC leaders, said he was there to “support the victim”.

The accused appeared before magistrate Mbokazi Radebe, who postponed the bail application until March 4 due to the court roll being full.

The councillor is accused of raping the student on Saturday at a house in Alice’s Golf Course suburb.

He has been in custody since his arrest on Saturday.

The court heard during his first appearance on Monday that the accused had allegedly offered the victim and her two friends a lift to the campus.

Instead of taking them to the University of Fort Hare, the councillor allegedly took them to a friend’s house.

The accused allegedly offered the young women food, drinks and a place to sleep at the house.

Prosecutor Zwelabathwa Majibana told the court that two of the young women had then asked the accused to drive them to the campus, while the victim had allegedly stayed at the house where she had fallen asleep on a couch.

Majibana said the victim had opened a case with the police after she allegedly woke up in the early hours of Saturday to find herself lying naked next to the accused, with injuries to her genitals.

Defence lawyer Msimelelo Qumntu told the court that apart from being arrested for public violence for taking part in the struggle against apartheid in the 1980s, his client had no previous convictions or pending cases.

The courtroom was packed with women in ANC regalia and University of Fort Hare students.

Mavuso said: “We as the EFF do not condone violence against women.

“We are here to observe the court proceedings to see if the law will give justice to the victim. The law must run its course.”

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