By Luvuyo Mjekula
A 34-year-old parolee charged with eight counts of rape, involving minor children, has been referred to a professional for mental examination.
Magistrate Xoliswa Msesiwe ruled, last week, that the man would remain in custody so as to undergo initial assessment by a psychiatrist, apparently from the Justice department.
The Extension 10 resident, who cannot be named because he has not pleaded, appeared in court on Friday last week for a formal bail application.
However, his Legal Aid attorney told the court he was having trouble consulting with his client and asked the court to make an order for mental observation.
The accused faces eight rape charges dating back to January 2022.
According to the charge sheet, seven of his victims are children aged between five and 16 years and one adult.
He was arrested on Thursday, 9 November, in connection with the alleged rape of three of the children.
The court has heard that the accused had a previous rape conviction and was on parole when he allegedly committed the recent offences.
Responding to a Legal Aid attorney’s question in court, the man confirmed that he had previously been convicted of rape and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. He was released on parole in 2019.
He informed the court that community members did not want him back in their neighbourhood and had burnt his home down before.
Concerned residents and parents packed the courtroom last week and intended to submit a petition in support of the call for no bail for the accused man as well as others in various court cases.
Rumours of a serial rapist had circulated in Makhanda in recent weeks.
Msesiwe postponed the case to 4 December.