Man who preyed on girls denied bail

A Mitchell’s Plain man who allegedly preyed on young girls on social media, where he asked them to send him naked photos of themselves, has been refused bail.

Shannon Manuel, 32, was arrested in January and charged with possession of child pornography, distribution and grooming of a minor.

He appeared at Mitchell Magistrates Court on Monday, where bail was handed down.

The State is ready to prove that Manuel chatted young meisiesand exchanged nude photographs with them.

Eric Ntabazalila of the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that Manuel had been denied bail.

NPA: Eric Ntabazalila confirmed that he was denied bail. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Siya Monakali of Ilitha Labantu, an organization that advocates for the rights of women and children, said they condemn anyone who engages in acts of child pornography.

“We appeal to our justice system to impose harsh sentences on these perpetrators,” he said.

“We must do our part to ensure children are aware of the dangers lurking online, where perpetrators often pretend to be children to gain access.”

Court observer Linda Jones from the Mitchell’s Plain Residents Association (MURA) said they were happy with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for changing the schedule five offense to a schedule six offense as it would mean a harsher sentence if he is declared guilty.

Schedule six cases include serious and violent crimes such as rape, murder and robbery.

Jones said the magistrate was very harsh and stated that even babies were in danger with Manuel.

“She said he allegedly pretended to be a 12-year-old boy for his 12-year-old victim and that children who wear diapers needed to be protected,” Jones added.

The case was adjourned until July 27.

Manuel was arrested in a joint operation led by the police’s Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) unit and the US Department of Homeland Security.