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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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Assistant teacher held for abusing mom, child tells court he fears losing his job

A 30-year-old assistant teacher has been charged with two counts of rape, sexual assault, five counts of child abuse, as well as one of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. File Picture

A 30-year-old assistant teacher has been charged with two counts of rape, sexual assault, five counts of child abuse, as well as one of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. File Picture

Published Jan 25, 2022

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A 30-YEAR-OLD Limpopo man has been denied bail after he appeared in the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court charged with two counts of rape, sexual assault, five counts of child abuse, and one of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The man from Tshitereke village in Vhembe District is alleged to have preyed on an 11-year-old boy and his mother, Limpopo spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said.

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“The presiding officer Mukoma Maiwashe said the applicant failed to prove exceptional circumstances and could likely be a danger, so bail was denied,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 2020 and 2021, but were only reported to authorities on November 21 after the minor told a relative.

“The child could not tell his mother, as she was also abused by the boyfriend. During his bail appearance, the man submitted an affidavit indicating that he would lose his job and suffer financial loss by spending time in custody while he is innocent,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.

“The prosecution opposed bail and called a State witness who said the applicant had in August 2020, a case of assault with intent to cause grievously bodily harm – where the complainant was the mother of the same boy. She was his girlfriend, pregnant with the accused’s child.”

In that previous case, the lovers reconciled and the case was subsequently withdrawn.

“The witness further told the court that the accused would interfere with witnesses, as he had access to their homestead and the victims were afraid of him.

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“It is feared that he might intimidate them not to testify against him. The witness said the accused is working with children at a local primary school and there was a likelihood that he could violate more children,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.

“During the address to the court, the prosecutor Ms Petronela Mudau said that the accused is an employee of the Department of Education, employed as an assistant teacher at the lower primary school where he works with minor children.”

The National Prosecuting Authority yesterday (Tuesday) said it condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the abuse of children and added that crimes against women and children will not be tolerated.

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