By Sharika Regchand
A 21-year-old man who allegedly raped a boy at a mosque in Copesville was on Monday granted bail of R1 000 by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.
The man, who can’t be named because he has not yet pleaded to the charge, is alleged to have gone into the mosque toilet where he found an 11-year-old boy.
He closed the door, pulled down the boy’s pants and allegedly raped him while holding his hand over the boy’s mouth to stop him from screaming.
The incident took place on August 16 and he was arrested two days afterwards.
The state was not unopposed to him being granted bail because he has a fixed address, no previous or pending cases and is not a flight risk. Also, he and the boy live in different areas.
The man does piecemeal jobs to support himself and his elderly parents. He is unmarried and has no children.
The Jamiatul Ulama KZN Midlands Council of Muslim Theologians has condemned the incident.
In a statement, it said that from the information it has obtained, the mosque officials reported the matter to the police and it is being investigated.
“We acknowledge the swift response of the SAPS and all involved which resulted in the speedy arrest of the alleged suspect.
“We are confident that the law will take its course to ensure that justice is served.
“The protection of our children is a primary responsibility for all of us. In this regard, we request all institutions and places of worship to be extra vigilant and to report any criminal activity to the law enforcement officials.”
The council also said that it prays that children and communities are “saved and protected from any such heinous crimes”.