No bail for Waterloo child rape‚ murder accused
A Waterloo call centre agent accused of the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl will remain behind bars after his bid for bail – heard before magistrate Irfaan Khalil - was denied on Monday.
The man is accused of raping the girl and then stabbing her‚ allegedly at his home north of Durban‚ in July. The weeks spent in custody appear to be taking their toll on the 26-year-old who sat dishevelled in the dock of the Verulam Magistrate's Court. He has‚ since his first appearance in July‚ developed sores on his neck. Neither the man nor the victim can be named.
His attorney‚ Rajendra Khimchand Nathalal‚ told the court that the state’s case was weak‚ homing in on the heavy reliance on two child witnesses as the foundation of its criminal prosecution.
“There is no forensic DNA evidence implicating the accused‚ and in respect of the photographs which form part of the state’s exhibits [which show blood in his home]‚ they are not in a position to indicate whose blood is it‚” Nathalal said.
He said that his client had set out in detail his movements on the day in question which would corroborate his version; that he had been at the shop and someone had broken into his home.
This was an apparent attempt to position bloodied clothes‚ belonging to the victim‚ which were found inside his house.
“None of the exhibits [bloodied clothing] had been sent for forensic examination. It is my submission [that this] would be invaluable in reaching the truth of the matter especially as the accused indicates that this may have happened in his home while he was not there‚” Nathalal said.
Advocate San Bhartu‚ for the state‚ said that the man’s attempt to distance himself from the crime scene was “feeble”.
“He made a feeble attempt to create an alibi and a story that his house was broken into while he was at a shop several hundred metres away. The state has a strong prima facie case implicating the accused in these crimes and it does not suffice for the accused to only challenge the merits of the evidence against him‚ but [he must] also go further and must prove on a balance of probability that he will be acquitted of the charge.”
Magistrate Irfaan Khalil found that the 26-year-old had not put up “exceptional circumstances” that warranted his release.— Jeff Wicks (@wicks_jeff) September 3, 2018
She punched holes in his story‚ saying that the notion of a break-in was flimsy.
“He alleges that people broke into his premises‚ unplugged appliances but strangely didn’t steal them… they only stole shoes belonging to the accused‚” she added.
In his ruling Khalil rubbished claims that the case was weak‚ saying that it was strong enough to give the man impetus to flee.
“Bail proceedings are not geared at arriving at factual conclusions but are designed to make an informed prognosis. The state appears to have a strong prima facie case against the applicant. If the applicant is able to prove he would be acquitted at trial it would be considered exceptional but there is nothing I have gleaned from his defence that renders this so.
“He has fallen short of establishing exceptional circumstances and thus bail is denied.”
He will appear in court again on November 29.