Child porn case delayed as more victims come forward

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Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) on Friday welcomed the postponement of the child porn case against an advocate and former high court acting judge and his co-accused.

“We are aware and appreciate the intricacies involved in investigations against child pornography and the use of the internet as a medium to commit the crime,”

WMACA’s Ngaa Murombedzi said on Friday.

The case was postponed to 3 December for the state complete its investigation. The accused cannot be named in terms of the Sexual Offences Act.

“We welcome the postponement because it is centred around strengthening the case that the prosecution can bring before the court,” said Murombedzi.

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“Many children do not get an opportunity for justice due to the weaknesses around the investigations done by the SA Police Service.”

Murombedzi said they hope that come December, the docket would be ready and the case could move forward.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the case was postponed due to pending investigations, more victims who had come forward and also the co-accused’s failure to bring a legal representative.

State prosecutor Valencia Dube told the court due to the

“inflow of new victims” the state would compile a new indictment following further investigations and would present it in December.

“In the court’s file is an indictment that was heard in the magistrate’s court. I heard this morning from my colleague that since we had transferred the matter, there has been an influx of victims coming forward. Inevitably this would mean that the indictment would have to be amended,” she said.

The co-accused told the court he had not been able to pay his attorney, which explained why he did not have legal representation. However, he had recently started a new job and would be able to pay for a lawyer for the next appearance.

The first accused, who appeared in a near empty High Court in Johannesburg yesterday, was charged with compelled rape for allegedly compelling someone to have sex with a minor as he watched and masturbated. His co-accused is charged with rape of a minor and sexual grooming.

The senior counsel was arrested in Johannesburg in June, following his co-accused’s arrest in October last year, after one of the child victims reported the crime to the police.

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News24 previously reported that the advocate was released on bail of R20 000, while his co-accused was granted bail of R6 000.

However, on their first appearance the co-accused was brought to court from police custody, which indicated he had not been able to post bail.

The pair face a litany of charges, including creating child pornography, the unlawful possession of child pornography and benefitting from child pornography.

The indictment identified at least three teenage boys, aged between 15 and 16, as victims.

“The accused made travel arrangements and payments in order for these children to come to Johannesburg, where they would be accommodated by the two accused,” read the indictment.

reitumetsem@citizen.co.za

Source: citizen