Quick bail af­ter sexu­al of­fen­ce char­ge

George Herald - - NEWS - K­ris­ty Kol­berg

Ma­ny po­li­ce and court of­fi­ci­als we­re ta­ken a­back w­hen a young wo­man who was ar­res­ted at her Fan­court ho­me two weeks ago on a char­ge of con­sen­su­al sex with a mi­nor, was re­le­a­sed on R1 000 bail within three hours of her ar­rest.

The 34-y­e­ar-old wo­man was ar­res­ted by the Ge­or­ge Fa­mi­ly Vi­o­len­ce, Child Pro­tecti­on and Sexu­al Of­fen­ces U­nit (FCS) on 29 Au­gust.

The char­ge fol­lo­wed af­ter the victim

(16) told one of his te­a­chers w­hat had hap­pe­ned and the school con­tacted the po­li­ce. The boy was 15 y­e­ars old at the ti­me of the al­le­ged in­ci­dent.

The Ge­or­ge He­rald re­cei­ved in­for­ma­ti­on sug­ges­ting that the accu­sed ne­ver saw the inside of the court hol­ding cells and spent the ti­me be­fo­re her bail ap­pli­ca­ti­on in an of­fi­ce at the Ge­or­ge Ma­gi­stra­te's Court.

Ac­cor­ding to the in­ves­ti­ga­ting of­fi­cer, this is not true and the accu­sed was held at the po­li­ce hol­ding cells until she was broug­ht to the court hol­ding cells for her ap­pea­ran­ce.

Ne­vert­he­less, the sus­pect's short stay be­hind bars cau­sed so­me rai­sed ey­e­brows.

Ac­cor­ding to the National Pro­se­cu­ting Aut­ho­ri­ty's (NPA) Re­gi­o­nal Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons Ma­na­ger, E­ric N­ta­ba­za­li­la, e­ach ca­se is de­alt with on its own me­rit and the sus­pect's swift vi­sit to court was no­thing out of the or­di­na­ry. He said the sus­pect obtai­ned the ser­vi­ces of a la­wy­er short­ly af­ter her ar­rest.

"The in­ves­ti­ga­ting of­fi­cer was con­tacted to in­form her of the re­quest and to en­qui­re as to her re­a­di­ness.

“She in­di­ca­ted that she would be a­ble to fi­na­li­se the for­ma­li­ties of the ar­rest and bring the accu­sed and the doc­ket to court be­fo­re the end of the day. This is a sche­du­le one of­fen­ce and the Sta­te was not op­po­sing bail."

If the in­ves­ti­ga­ting of­fi­cer had not been re­a­dy, the ca­se would ha­ve been en­rol­led the next day and the accu­sed would ha­ve stay­ed in cus­to­dy.

"As bail was not being op­po­sed, the sus­pect's la­wy­er ap­pro­a­ched Dis­trict Court Con­t­rol Pro­se­cu­tor Riet­te Ziets­man with a re­quest that the ca­se be en­rol­led that sa­me day. The courts we­re still in ses­si­on and the ca­se was en­rol­led," N­ta­ba­za­li­la said.

The ca­se was pos­t­po­ned for furt­her in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on until 27 Sep­tem­ber.

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