Dros rape case back in court, while donations pour in for child's needs

28 November 2018 - 07:22
By Naledi Shange
The man accused of raping a seven-year-old is set to return to the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times The man accused of raping a seven-year-old is set to return to the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

The 20-year-old man accused of raping a child at a Dros restaurant is set to return to court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

During his last appearance on November 1, the court heard that the accused had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had undergone treatment for substance abuse as a teenager.

Legal Aid attorney Riaan du Plessis said there was a history of mental illness in the accused’s family.

It was recommended that he be referred for mental observation to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital. 

“He started using substances when he was 14 years old ... The accused has also harmed himself due to his mental health‚” Du Plessis told the court.

The young man is accused of raping the child in a bathroom in the restaurant’s Silverton branch in September. He was found completely naked, with fluids on his body, in one of the cubicles.

The state informed the court that they were also waiting for toxicology reports on the fluids.

During all his court appearances, political parties have arrived in their numbers, protesting against the accused’s release.

With the scores of people that have attended the proceedings, it was not clear whether any of his relatives, or the relatives of the child, have been in attendance at any of the court proceedings.

TimesLIVE is not naming the man until he has entered a plea. 

In earlier court proceedings, the suspect chose to abandon his bail bid.

It was alleged that he had watched the little girl in the restaurant play area and later followed her to the bathroom.

According to patrons‚ the child’s mother went looking for her after she noticed she was not in the play area and allegedly found her daughter with the man in the bathroom.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched shortly after the incident to help the child with any counselling she may need. So far, about R152,000 has been pledged.

Donors include Thandie Newton, who pledged over R8,000, saying: “Heal sweet girl. You are precious. There are many many people who care about you. I send love and strength.”

“Get well soon and may God bless and protect you always,” said another donor, Donovan Jones, while Sibusiso Cindi shared, “Wishing that you get well soon and always remember the country loves you.”