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Protests expected as alleged ‘Dros rapist’ appears in court

Mass protest action is expected in Tshwane on Tuesday as the man accused of raping a six-year-old girl at a Pretoria franchise of the family restaurant chain Dros will appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court.

Civic organisations and political parties have been rallying support to protest outside of the court as the 20-year-old accused makes his second appearance since being arrested two weeks ago.

Among the groups expected to protest are nonprofit organisation #Notinmyname, the ANC Women’s League, the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance.

In a statement, Tshwane metro police spokesperson senior superintendent Isaac Mahamba said various organisations were expected to arrive by bus from across the country.

As a result, Francis Baard Street, between Sophie de Bruyn and Bosman streets, has been completely closed to traffic from 08:00 to 15:00.

Mahamba said that Church Square would also be monitored for possible gatherings.

Caught on video

“Streets in the CBD will be congested, so motorists are advised to avoid the affected streets and use alternative roads. Tshwane metro police and SAPS [the South African Police Service] officers will be deployed to monitor the picket and all affected streets,” said Mahamba.

Media previously reported that the accused was at the Dros restaurant in Silverton where he allegedly followed the child to a bathroom and then raped her.

READ MORE: Dros confirms ‘incident’ following rape of seven-year-old at restaurant

According to Rapport, after being caught in the act, the accused then tried to flush his and the girl’s bloodied clothes down a toilet, according to witnesses. Both the accused and child were naked and the girl was bleeding from the groin area.

The accused was caught when the mother went searching for her daughter after being unable to locate her in the play area.

A video surfaced, taken moments after the accused was caught. It shows the accused naked and covered in blood in the men’s toilet. Patrons at the restaurant can be seen lashing out at him.

In the video, he was asked what he was doing and responded that there was nothing wrong with him mentally and that he was there to use the bathroom to relieve himself.

In a statement issued last week, Dros confirmed the incident.

“We have been in contact with the parents of the child to convey our sympathy and offered our assistance in any form that would (or could) reasonably be required in a matter of this nature,” the statement read.

The accused has been charged with rape, possession of drugs, intimidation and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The Mail & Guardian has taken a decision not to identify the accused until he has pleaded in court as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Act.

According to section 154(2b) of the Criminal Procedure Act: (b) No person shall at any stage before the appearance of an accused in a court upon any charge referred to in section 153(3) or at any stage after such appearance but before the accused has pleaded to the charge, publish in any manner whatever any information relating to the charge in question.

Section 153(3) refers to criminal proceedings related to sexual offences charges. — News24

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Alex Mitchley
Alex Mitchley
South African Journalist at News24

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