DURBAN - A Verulam man accused of raping and murdering his seven-year-old neighbour will remain in custody for now.
Two weeks have passed since the brutal rape and murder of the girl but the hurt and anger in the community is still fresh as they protest outside the local magistrate’s court.
Inside, the man accused of the cruel deeds is applying for bail.
The 26-year-old man – who claims is innocent - lived in the same block of flats as the victim.
Defence attorney Rajendra Nathalal says the court should not be persuaded by the public’s perception when considering bail.
“I urge this honourable court not to be swayed by the media frenzy and biased, uninformed members of the community when considering my application for bail,” said Nathalal.
“If I am granted bail, there is no likelihood of me committing this type of offence or any other type of offence whatsoever.
“The public’s perception of justice is unfair and unjust. In their eyes I am guilty and convicted by media.”
The State, however, is opposing bail.
It says witnesses saw the accused dumping the girl – who had been stabbed - outside his flat.
The investigating officer, Emmanuel Zulu, says blood was found inside the man’s home and initial examinations show damage to the girl’s genitals.
But the accused insists he was not there at the time of the attack and had come back to find his home ransacked.
Post-mortem results and forensic evidence is expected within the coming weeks.
The accused will remain in custody until the matter resumes on 3 September.