Residents want Verulam rape suspect to remain in custody

Residents want Verulam rape suspect to remain in custody

Verulam community members say they would fear for the safety of other children if a rape suspect is released on bail.

Screengrab, Nushera Soodyal
They have been speaking to Newswatch after the 43-year-old man accused of raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter and keeping her locked in a small room made his second appearance in the Verulam Magistrate's Court, north of Durban yesterday.

The man's attorney told the court that his client intends on making a bail application.

It is due to get underway early next month.

The story grabbed national headlines when the man was arrested two weeks ago.

NOW READ: Pornography, empty alcohol bottles found in home of alleged Verulam rapist

Residents who gathered at the courthouse yesterday say they do not want him to be granted bail.

They feel the allegations against him are too serious and that he should remain behind bars.

Yesterday, the man limped into court.

He showed signs of being in pain when asked to sit and stand in the dock.

His attorney says the way in which he was arrested would be at the forefront of their arguments when the bail hearing starts.

In the meantime, the stepfather has been transferred to Westville Prison where he will receive treatment for his injuries following alleged assaults.

The little girl is receiving counselling at a place of safety.

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The case shocked local communities when allegations that the man had kept the girl locked in a small room emerged.

Neighbours say police found pornography and adult toys inside the room. Empty alcohol bottles were also strewn across the area.

The suspect is facing a number of charges, including sexual grooming, rape, exposing the child to pornography and sexual assault.

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