High drama at court appearance of principal accused of rape

2012-11-12 12:32
Sphumelele Mngoma
There was high drama in the sleepy town of Scottsburgh in the south of Durban this morning when a school principal accused of rape made his second appearance at the Scottsburgh Magistrates’ Court.

The 44-year-old principal was remanded in custody and will appear again on November 27 when he is expected to apply for bail.

Outside court, friends and relatives of the principal nearly came to blows with members of the eMahlongwa community.

The primary school of which the accused is the principal is in eMahlongwa. The alleged victim also lives there.

An aggressive crowd of about 30 knobkerrie-wielding people came to support the principal.

The situation soon became heated when they grabbed and manhandled eMahlongwa counsellor Ntokozo Maphumulo, asking why he had mobilised the community.

A water bottle was thrown at an SABC cameraman by the principal’s supporters who did not want him to film.

They later slapped and roughed up the investigating officer, after she tried to intervene when the principal’s supporters tried to break the SABC cameraman’s tripod.

Although police are stationed adjacent to the court, they only acted when the investing officer was slapped.
They gave chase with blue lights flashing to apprehend the offenders.

It is not clear at this stage how many people were arrested and what the charges against them are.

An eMahlongwa induna, who identified himself as Majola, voiced disappointment at the lack of police presence, despite matters getting out of hand.

“It means, people can die with police hiding indoors,” said Majola.

Constable Gwen Msomi, communication officer at the eMahlongwa police station, said she had warned the Scottsburgh police station that a huge crowd would attend the case.