A mansuspected of raping a two-year-old girl was denied bail when he appeared briefly in the Maake Magistrate’s Court outside Tzaneen on Tuesday.
David Sekgobela, 29, was not asked to plead to charges including rape and abduction. The case was postponed to March 12 for further investigations.
Sekgobela was remanded in police custody.
Provincial police spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi has expressed appreciation to angry protesters who thronged to the court demanding that the suspect be denied bail.
“We thank members of the communities who behaved well when they demonstrated and picketed outside court.
“We thank them for that. Something that we do not tolerate is when demonstrators disturb court proceedings or cause intimidations,” Mulaudzi said.
Sekgobela allegedly abducted a two-year-old girl from Pulaneng village in Maake and took her to a nearby bush where he raped her before leaving her for dead.
“The child was rescued and treated at the Mankweng hospital for two weeks after the brutal sexual attack. She has since been discharged from the hospital.
“The suspect was allegedly a close friend to the child’s father at the time he raped her,” Mulaudzi said.
After the sexual attack Sekgobela disappeared from the village but police traced him to a flat in Yeoville, Gauteng, where he was nabbed in a pre-dawn raid on Sunday.
During his disappearance, his house in the village was torched.
Police have opened a case of arson but no arrests have yet been made.
The provincial police Commissioner Lt-Gen Simon Mpembe said: “I can understand the anger among community members in incidents like this one.”
“But I strongly warn people not to take the law into their own hands.”
Lt-Gen Mpembe earlier praised police officers for working tirelessly in tracking down the suspect.