Court set rape accused free, for lack of interest in women

Massive reactions have greeted the verdict of a magistrate court regarding an accused.

The Umlazi magistrate set free a man accused of raping a teenage girl because he carried a bag, styled his hair and did the washing  — which, the magistrate said, meant he must be   gay and “not interested in women”.

This questionable ruling and two others by Kholeka Bodlani have now been overturned by two KwaZulu-Natal judges as pressure mounts on the Magistrates Commission to quickly take action against her.

In November last year the Sunday Times reported that about 18 cases in which Bodlani  presided  had been sent on special judicial review following complaints of incompetence against her.

The commission launched an audit of all  her cases since she was appointed in 2013  after two other  review judges slammed her for applying “shockingly inappropriate” sentences in four child-rape cases.  They said she appeared to have been “totally overcome by mercy” for the accused. In some instances, she  gave them completely suspended sentences.

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