Dance teacher faces 27 child rape charges
By Mary-Anne Gontsana
Angry parents and community members protested outside the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court in the rain when a convicted rapist made his first appearance accused of the serial rape of five more girls - and 22 further rape charges are to be added.
Mlulami Gagu, 42, was a traditional dance teacher to the children, most under 15, and allegedly raped some of them on church premises.
Resident Nomathemba Lika said she felt great pain because the dance lessons Gagu had given the children at the church were such a "beautiful thing" and they enjoyed it. She said she could not imagine why he would have done this.
"What I don't even want to think about is the fact that some of the children might have been raped in church," said Lika.
"He was such an active church member and sometimes they would use the church hall for their dance practice."
The court heard on Monday that Gagu, from Oudtshoorn, had two previous rape convictions and that 22 other counts of rape had also emerged since his arrest on Thursday. These would be added to the charge sheet.
Prosecutor Ntsikelelo Peter said the state had opposed bail because there were too many victims under 15 and Gagu was a flight risk since he had been arrested at his parents home in Oudtshoorn.