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Posted : 20 May 2013

WELL-KNOWN Eastern Cape musician Iain McLaggan’s lastditch effort to appeal his rape conviction backfired yesterday when his defence was asked to mitigate why he should not spend a decade in prison instead of the initial eight years to which he was sentenced last year.

And, while the Port Elizabeth singer’s fate now lies in the hands of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, a dejected McLaggan said yesterday that the signs were already there that the court would rule against him.

McLaggan, 30, a former Shamwari game ranger, had turned to the SCA to have his conviction for raping a British tourist in 2010 overturned.

The state, meanwhile, argued for a harsher sentence.

After several hours of argument before a full bench yesterday, McLaggan said his legal team had informed him the judges seemed to have been swayed in favour of the prosecution.

Although judgment was reserved, McLaggan, who spoke exclusively to Weekend Post last night, said he believed the judges had clearly favoured the sentiments of the prosecution.

“The matter is no longer in my hands. I must now sit back and wait. I can only hope and pray now that proper consideration will be given to all arguments made,” McLaggan said.

“Until then my family, friends and I have to hold on to the hope that I will be exonerated and that justice still exists in this country.”

McLaggan is out on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.

Should his appeal not succeed, he must report to his nearest police station within 48 hours to start serving his sentence.

No date has been set and though the SCA would usually deliver judgment within a month of hearing the matter, McLaggan’s fate could be known in as little as a week.

McLaggan maintains his innocence and claims the sex was consensual.

In opposing McLaggan’s appeal against his conviction, senior state advocate Nickie Turner asked the court to increase his initial sentence of eight years to a more stringent 10 years beJOHANNESBURG – A teacher who allegedly kidnapped, drugged, and raped a schoolgirl has been found guilty of gross misconduct in a disciplinary hearing, rights group Section27 said yesterday.

“We are still awaiting a decision as to whether any criminal charges will be brought against the teacher,” it said.

A complaint about the teacher was lodged with the Gauteng education department in February last year. Spokesman Charles Phahlane said the teacher was initially found not guilty in a disciplinary hearing.

“The head of department in Gauteng then lodged an appeal, and the appeal came back and overturned the not guilty verdict, and so the educator was found guilty.” Phahlane said the next step would be to determine what sanction the teacher would face.

“As the department we welcome the verdict. We will not hesitate to take stern action against educators who abuse their positions of authority,” he said. Section27 said the Employment of Educators Act stipulated that any teacher found guilty of gross misconduct should be fired. The rights group, and its affiliates in the case – Lawyers Against Abuse, Werksmans Attorneys, and the Treatment Action Campaign – welcomed the department’s no-tolerance stance on sexual violence in schools.

They remained concerned, however, at how long it took for the complaint to reach the present stage.

This is a version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend Post on Saturday, May 18, 2013.

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