'Baby rapist' to be denied bail

The NPA says the state will oppose bail when the man appears in court on 12 December.

The suspect accused of raping a 6-week-old baby in Galeshewe in the Northern Cape. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says she's absolutely shocked following the rape of a six-week-old baby girl in Kimberley.

The child remains in a critical but stable condition in Kimberley hospital after she was raped, allegedly by her uncle, at her Galeshewe home on Tuesday.

The infant had to undergo emergency surgery on Wednesday, while the case against her relative has been postponed to 12 December for a bail application.

It's alleged the man snatched the baby from her bed while the baby's mother and grandmother were watching television in the next room.

The man was later cornered by community members.

Phiyega has described the rape as horrifying.

"To us as a community and as a society we must make sure that where we are, we are secured before we start looking at other horizons."

Phiyega wouldn't comment on claims the suspect has a history of mental illness.

"There are allegations about that, but I'm not able to at this point in time to talk about his condition, particularly not being a doctor. But I think as the case progresses it would be able to pick up some of those factual issues."

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it will oppose bail for the accused. The 24 year-old appeared briefly in the Kimberley Magistrates Court on Thursday.

"He'll appear again in court on 12 December. The bail will be denied. We are busy with the 16 Days of Activism and it's a shock to us because on the same day of the incident we were having a campaign in the same area in Galeshewe."

The health department's Vuyani Mhlauli says it's not clear how long the baby will be treated in the intensive care unit.

"She's in a critical but stable condition. That's what I can say for now because if someone is in that state anything can happen. We can't say whether she's in better condition or not."

A prayer service led by Phiyega was held in Galeshewe the following the rape.