The National Prosecuting Authority has successfully opposed the bail application, made by the 59-year-old High School principal, Mzimkhulu Abedniko Zibi, who is accused of repeatedly raping a 21-year-old Grade 12 learner. The accused would allegedly call the learner to his office, in Bhonxa High School in the district of Ntabankulu. The principal allegedly raped the learner twice on two different occasions.

He would allegedly slap the complainant with open hands and threaten her with death if she reported the matter. The complainant reported the rapes to his peers and only reported them to the police after a teacher overheard her outburst to other learners in class. The accused submitted an affidavit in support of his bail application and chose not to give oral evidence. The state led the evidence of the investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Queenie Maphipha, who vehemently and vigorously opposed bail.

Prosecutor Luthando Nomandindi, further argued that the applicant failed to show exceptional circumstances for his release on bail. Magistrate Nozuko Mviko, agreed with the prosecution, that the interests of the complainant in this case, far outweigh those advanced by the accused for his release on bail and that it was not in the interest of justice for him to be released on bail.

The case has been postponed to 28 July 2022, for the accused to appear in the KwaBhaca Regional Court.  Commenting about this Eastern Cape MEC for Education Fundile Gade welcomed the decision taken by the Ntabankulu Magistrate court on Thursday.

MEC Gade said, he welcomes the decision with the  hope that it will serve as a clear reminder to everyone in the education sector that their call of duty requires more professionalism, parenting and ethical conduct.

“The decision is teaching us all to understand deeply the responsibility bestowed to us and the societal expectations as we discharge our duties as public servants, said Gade.

Commenting about the complainant’s situation MEC Gade said, the department has provided the affected learner with educational material and it will continue to make sure that she is studying in a conducive environment where her safety is guaranteed.

Whilest the alleged perpetrator remains in police custody, the department is continuing with its internal disciplinary processes and the immediate resignation letter that the accused has submitted to the department has been rejected by the MEC pending finalisation of the case.

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