South Africa 13.4.2018 06:47 am

Rape accused advocate wants review of charges

The advocate is alleged to have molested the daughter of family friends – now 19 – when she was between six and 12 years old.

An advocate charged with rape, sexual assault and the grooming of a minor, will be making representations to national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams to reconsider the charges against him.

This emerged in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where the matter was postponed until May 28.

The advocate, who may not be named as he has yet to plead, faces two counts on each charge.

He is alleged to have molested a girl – now 19 – when she was between six and 12 years old.

He was previously released on bail of R10 000, on condition that he may not contact the family of his alleged victim, and must notify authorities if he leaves Gauteng.

He left the court corridor with a loud “cheers!” and a wave to the teenager’s father who attended the court proceedings.

A father of two children and apparently his family’s sole breadwinner – according to his bail application – the advocate has also handed in his passport as part of his bail conditions.

The matter is being investigated by the Gauteng provincial Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations Unit.

It is believed the alleged abuse happened in the teen’s family home when the advocate, a family friend, visited her parents.

The family allegedly only became aware of their daughter’s claims shortly before her 18th birthday. She told her mother what had happened to her as a child.

Ngaatendweishe Murombedzi, of Women and Men against Child Abuse, said the application to make representations was not unexpected.

“It was anticipated. He is a legal professional of a high status, but the family is well prepared to be in it for the long haul,” Murombedzi said.

“We are standing firmly behind them, and will be monitoring the process to ensure everything is done according to the book.

“When we go to trial we will come out with guns blazing.

“As an orginasition we want to ensure people in positions of power don’t abuse children who trust them,” Murombedzi said.

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