A group of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members on Tuesday threatened the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court and to shut down the entire town after the court transferred to Pretoria Regional Court the case of a man accused of raping his parents’ domestic worker and allegedly forcing her to perform sexual acts on his two dogs.
The 45-year-old man appeared in the same court in the east of Pretoria earlier, where prosecutor Barbra Ndala asked the court to transfer the case and postpone it to May 3. Magistrate David Shikwambana granted the requests.
Tensions flared up after the court adjourned and a small group of EFF members went into the court corridors and surrounded Shikwambana, demanding to know why he had granted the transfer. Other EFF members protested near the door of the court building. The police intervened and a meeting was held inside Shikwambana’s office between him and a group of EFF members amid a heavy police presence.
During the meeting that lasted for about 45 minutes, EFF’s regional spokesman Sello Boleu told Shikwambana that justice might not be served to the alleged rape victim if the case was transferred to Pretoria because the accused was a white Afrikaner man.
“There are other cases against Afrikaners that were dropped for no reason in the past after they were transferred to Pretoria,” alleged Boleu.
“If this case is transferred to Pretoria, we will shut this town down like Mahikeng [in the North West]. We want this case to be dealt with here until the end.”
Shikwambana promised to forward EEF members’ demand to his superiors and pointed out that it was not for him to decide where cases should be heard.
“I have noted your urgent concern but you must know there are things that are beyond me as a judicial officer,” said Shikwambana.
The 45-year-old man is facing 10 charges, including rape, sexual assault and malicious damage to property. He was arrested in November last year. The incident allegedly happened in Riamar Park, Bronkhorstspruit, on October 23.
– African News Agency (ANA)
Also read: ‘I slept with a woman and a dog later slept with her as well’, says Bronkhorstspruit rape accused