Trial date set for rape suspect ,86

McKeed Kotlolo

The date has finally been set for the trial of Mgudwa Malinga, the 86-year-old Mpumalanga traditional healer accused of raping 15 minors.

Malinga of Carolina in Mpumalanga appeared in the Carolina regional court with co-accused Lina Zwane, 32, also of Carolina, last Friday.

Magistrate B Mene referred the case to the Middelburg high court for trial on June 10. Malinga's bail bid has failed several times in the Carolina district court since his arrest about two years ago.

Zwane was granted bail so that she could receive medical treatment. Her bail was extended to June 10.

Malinga is alleged to have raped young girls he kept as sex slaves on his farm. The victims were aged between four and 15.

The girls allegedly had to parade naked before him every night so that he could choose the one he wanted to spend the night with.

After learning that the police were looking for him, Malinga turned himself in to the police.

His bail applications failed after being opposed by a local social worker, investigating officer Constable Gloria Langa and the local branch of the ANC Women's League.

During Malinga's last bail application the defence presented two witnesses, one the mother of a six-year-old victim and the other a woman living on his farm.

Under cross-examination the victim's mother told the court she voluntarily took her daughter to Malinga where she spent two years. She said Malinga paid her during her daughter's stay on the farm.

Another witness, Nolia Mnisi, 66, told the court that Malinga's patients were missing out on their treatment because of his continued detention.

Testifying for the state a social worker said it was in the interest of the victims that Malinga be kept in custody.

Constable Langa also objected to the granting of bail and told the court that Malinga had threatened her with violence.