picture by Mabore Lewele

Sephamu Harry Moagi 59, popularly known as Chopper was charged with rape of a minor, a 15 year old girl from Khokho near Khutjwane outside Tzaneen. He was granted a R5000 bail at the Naphuno magistrate court in Lenyenye on the 22ndJune 2017 after the case was postponed from the 21stJune 2017. The suspect was supported by his wife Mrs. Mmatema Moagi, the Lepelle Circuit Manager and family members. The court gallery was graced by the presence of the Honourable Mayor of the Greater Tzaneen Municipality Mr. Maripe Mangena.
On the day of bail application the Warrant Officer investigating the case was called in to provide expert testimony in court. The Warrant Officer Mr. Derick Mangalane from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) under the SAPS told the court that the suspect handed himself over to the police. He (IO) told the court that he is yet to gather the profile of the suspect. He further added that the suspect had committed a schedule 6 offence as contained in section 60 11(A) of 1977 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
This section states that a suspect should be kept in custody until he or she provides evidence that satisfy the court i.e. exceptional or extraordinary reasons. The suspect presented his evidence in a form of an affidavit. The magistrate had to postpone the matter to the 22ndJune in order to compare the evidence provided to the court and the affidavit from the suspect. The suspect wrote in the affidavit that he is willing to quit his job for the sake of the victim as she is a learner at his workplace. That he will not in any way interfere with the investigations nor make contact with the victim’s family and witnesses. He further added that he has a chronic illness which won’t do the state any good if he is kept in custody.
The presiding magistrate agreed and granted the suspect a R5000 bail on the basis of the following reasons: that the suspect has a chronic illness, he cooperated with the police and that he is willing to resign from his work. As submitted by the prosecution the magistrate imposed the following bail conditions on the suspect: that he should not communicate or make contact with the victim, family and witnesses and that he should report to the SAPS Maruleng satellite in Sekororo on Mondays between 8am and 6pm.
The case was then postponed to 23rd August 2017 for further investigations which includes the finalization of the profile of the suspect and DNA results from the state lab. The granting of bail to the suspect attracted the attention of the community. Family is happy that he has been released. Given the high rate of women and children abuse in South Africa most people think that the law was too lenient on the suspect. They are of the opinion that the plight of the victim was not taken serious by the state.
Mabore Lewele
Tel 015 004 0430

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One Comment

  1. The scourge of women and children abuse is mounting highest and this signifies total explosion of the moral values of society. In this matter it was disappointing that the state didn’t even attempt to oppose bail given the seriousness of the matter as a schedule 6. Women were also disappointingly absent in court to support the victim. Perhaps there is more than meet the eye. Time will tell.

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