Anger over rape bail

Residents of Nondweni village in Inquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal are crying foul over a court decision to release a man accused of raping a six-year-old despite him flouting his bail condition.

Thulani Nxumalo, 26, was granted bail of R2 000 last Thursday in Nqutu magistrate's court.

He was later seen near the child's home and was rearrested.

His bail condition required him to vacate the area.

Police spokesperson Shooz Magudulela said the court set the bail condition that he vacate his home which was a stone's throw from the victim's home.

"The suspect agreed to go and live with his family in Nongoma until his case next month. But he was arrested for contempt of court less than 48 hours later after he was spotted in the area," Magudulela said.

He said the same court granted a final instruction that Nxumalo honours the bail condition and leaves the area.

"If he ignores the court, it will strip him of his rights and throw him in jail immediately until his appearance on 23 November," Magudulela said

Nxumalo is facing charges of rape, assault and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Magudulela said the suspect also has a pending case of assault after he allegedly attacked a local woman with a sharp object in 2006.

The courts had issued a warrant of arrest when he failed to come to court, said Magudulela.

Local leader Amos Mtshali said they were disappointed over the court ruling to release the man twice.

"We are concerned that the child's rights have been violated not once, but twice. Instead of being thrown into jail, he is given a second chance," he said.

The child's mother said she has lost faith in the justice system.

"My child saw her attacker again and I'm worried that this will only worsen her fragile state. Why was he granted bail in the first place," she cried.