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I did not have sex with my rape accuser, says ANC councillor

By Baldwin Ndaba

Rape accused City of Joburg ANC councillor, Kenneth Mgaga, is adamant that he did not engage in a sexual encounter with his rape accuser.

Rape accused City of Joburg ANC councillor, Kenneth Mgaga, is adamant that he did not engage in a sexual encounter with his rape accuser.
Rape accused City of Joburg ANC councillor, Kenneth Mgaga, is adamant that he did not engage in a sexual encounter with his rape accuser.

Mgaga made the claim in his sworn affidavit submitted to the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday in his bid to be released on bail.

While his affidavit was not read out in court, defence lawyer Jeff Lekalakala confirmed the contents of the document.

“My client, in his affidavit, confirms that he was in the company of his accuser on Christmas Day and December 26. He also confirms that his accuser was known to him but denies that the two had sex.

“My client’s version is that he had no sex with her,” Lekalakala said In court.

Mgaga also confirmed the affidavit. He was released on bail of R2 000 after the state did not oppose bail. Earlier, he was warned that a Schedule Five offence carried a minimum sentence of 10 to to 20 years but the accused appeared unfazed.

Outside court, two arms of the ANC in Joburg came out in their numbers. The ANC Youth League was there in support of the accused while the Women’s League was there to support the victim.

Initially, the Women’s League wanted the court to deny the accused bail. But the Youth League was adamant that the charge was politically motivated and alleged that certain people in the Joburg ANC leadership had orchestrated it.

While the battle lines were drawn between the two groups, – inside court the prosecution opted not to oppose bail.

Outlining the nature of the allegations, Bakana said: “The victim alleges that she visited her friend (accused) on Christmas in Alexandra. She said the offence happened in the early hours of December 26. Later on that day, the accused and his friend took her to her place of residence in Tembisa.

“The next day, she went for a medical observation and was supplied with the J88 form (medical report). She only reported the case on December 28,” Bakana said.This prompted magistrate Schnetler to ask the prosecution whether the victim gave any explanation for the late reporting. Bakana replied that she had not.

The case was postponed to February 22 for further investigation and trial.

Following his release, Mgaga immediately asked the ANC to place him on voluntary leave of absence pending his trial.

Mgaga penned a letter to the ANC’s Greater Joburg regional secretary Dada Morero, Gauteng ANC secretary Jacob Khawe and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule asking to be placed on voluntary leave of absence as a councillor in the City of Joburg.

In his letter, Mgaga said: “I note that the ANC has no current policy position on the accused stepping aside from their position and I note that the ANC NEC has not finalised any guidelines in this regard.

“However, given the seriousness of such an allegation levelled against me, as well as my steadfast commitment to end all forms of gender based violence and attain a non-sexist society, I have taken a voluntary decision to request a special leave of absence with immediate effect from my position as a PR Councillor in the City of Joburg in order to allow myself an opportunity to clear my name, away from my everyday responsibilities I discharge as a public representative of the ANC,” Mgaga said.

As in his affidavit, Mgaga maintained his innocence to the ANC leaders despite the state arguing in court that it had a strong case against him.

“I wish to state on record that I am innocent of the alleged crime and have pleaded not guilty. I am fully committed to participating with the legal process in order to ensure a free and fair trial and resolution on this very serious matter.

“I remain a loyal and committed leader of the ANC and I will trust in the judicial process which guarantees my right to a free and fair trial,” Mgaga said.

At the time of writing the letter, the ANC Joburg regional executive had already placed Mgaga on suspension pending his appearance before the party’s regional integrity committee.

ANC Joburg regional spokesperson Sasabona Manganye, however, said Mgaga would be spared any disciplinary action if he agreed to step aside voluntarily. IOL.

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