Ex-teacher’s bail terms relaxed as rape trial delayed

Bail conditions for a former Grade 7 Clarendon Primary School teacher accused of rape were relaxed by the East London Regional Court yesterday.

 

Magistrate Ignatius Kitching ruled that the man, 65, could stop reporting to the Gonubie police station once a week.

The order was granted when the accused’s rape trial was delayed by another three months because the state had not submitted a completed charge sheet and further particulars on time.

The ex-teacher appeared in court yesterday, accompanied by defence advocate Neil Schoeman.

He is not being named as he has not yet pleaded to a case of a sexual nature.

He is out on R5000 bail.

Schoeman sought the postponement from Kitching, saying that state prosecutor Bonginkosi Mafa had only furnished him with a copy of the charge sheet “20 minutes ago”.

Mafa had earlier told the magistrate the state was ready to proceed with trial.

Schoeman said he was “surprised” by Mafa’s submission because during consultation the parties had agreed that the matter would have to be postponed to a later date.

The trial was scheduled to begin yesterday and run to the end of the week, but now Schoeman has told Kitching he needs to consult further in light of new further particulars, including a statement furnished to him by the state made by one of the complainants in the case.

Mafa said the statement was made by a third complainant and that the trial could continue as that evidence would be led only at a later stage.

Schoeman shot down this suggestion, saying that since November last year the state had yet to furnish him with all necessary documents.

The magistrate agreed with Schoeman and set a new trial date. He said the teacher would go on trial from October 30 to November 3.

In court yesterday, all three complainants were present and were warned to appear on the trial date.

Kitching warned the accused to stay in touch with his lawyer for further consultation to avoid delaying the trial further.

The man no longer teaches at the school, having resigned after being suspended by the governing body as soon as the allegations came to light earlier last year.

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