Rape video teen accused is released
Charges were dropped today against a Soweto teenager accused of being one of a group who allegedly raped a girl believed to be mentally impaired.
The Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court accepted an evaluation that the 14-year-old was not capable of committing a crime, his lawyer William Karam told reporters outside court.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindile Louw said social workers concluded the boy was not able to determine whether his actions were right or wrong.
Proceedings were held in camera as the accused was a minor.
The boy, who was 13-years-old when he was arrested, was among a group of seven people arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto in April.
They had matched the description of the rapists seen in a cellphone video recording a gang rape.
The video went viral on the internet in April and became a trending topic on social networking site Twitter.
Karam said the boy would now attend social skills and sex education programmes.
The matter was postponed until November 14, when the remaining five accused were expected to appear.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindi Louw said their psych-social reports would determine what charges would be laid against the group and where the trial would take place.
They face rape, sexual assault, using a minor to create child pornography and other charges.
The remaining accused include two boys aged 17, two 19-year-olds and an 18-year-old.
The 17-year-old girl went missing on March 21 and was found at a 37-year-old-man’s house in Braamfischerville, Soweto. He was arrested but charges against him were later withdrawn.
Louw said she could not comment on the state of the girl.
She said the girl’s family, who were in court on Thursday, were upset to hear of another accused being released.
“But after explaining why he was released they seemed to understand.”
The girl’s two sisters and mother were in court.