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Dane suspected of mutilating women denied bail

A South African judge Friday denied bail for a Danish man accused of mutilating women and storing pieces of their genitals in his freezer.

Peter Frederiksen, a 63-year-old gun shop owner, was arrested in September after police discovered over 10 pieces of frozen female genitals, surgical equipment and pornographic photographs of children at his Bloemfontein townhouse.

The judge at the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court ruled that Frederiksen, who is facing charges in neighbouring Lesotho and Denmark, should stay behind bars.

“It is in the interest of justice as well as the interest of the public that the applicant be denied bail,” said Judge Marlene Marais.

“There is a possibility that the accused might be a flight risk if he is granted bail today, considering the fact that he has failed to serve his sentence in Denmark for the illegal possession of firearms.”

Frederiksen kept his head down after the judge made her decision, making no eye contact with people sitting in the public gallery.

The trial has been postponed until January 13, 2016, for the police to continue their investigation.

Frederiksen faces charges that include two counts of conspiracy to commit murder — one in connection with his wife’s death — three counts of assault, two of bigamy, and production and distribution of child pornography.

Anna Matseliso Molise, his 28-year-old wife, was set to be the state’s star witness before she was gunned down in October outside her house in Maseru, capital of Lesotho.

Members of the African National Congress Women’s League, the ruling party’s women’s wing, were pleased that Frederiksen was denied bail.

“He ran away from the authorities in Denmark and in Lesotho, but he will not get it right this time around,” said Mapaseka Nkoane, ANCWL spokeswoman, who has been attending the bail proceedings.

“Enough is enough. We are tired of seeing women abused so much in the country and we would like to see him receive a life sentence.”

Violence against women is widespread in South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of rape in the world, according to the fact-checking website Africa Check.

South Africa has legislation prohibiting female circumcision, although it is not a common practise in the country.