Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-Alleged sexual predator, the former South African police officer Marthinus Pretorius, who fled Namibia five years ago before his arrest for sexual crimes committed against three minor girls in Swakopmund in May 2012, arrived in Namibia on Thursday to stand trial for his alleged crimes.
Pretorius, who was employed at Rössing uranium mine at that time, fled the country after the alleged sexual crimes were uncovered, resulting in the state successfully convicting his co-accused, Johanna Lukas, who supplied the three minor girls to him for the sexual activities.
In 2012, Pretorius allegedly paid Lukas N$10 000 in exchange for the minors, who he raped on several occasions at his residence in Swakopmund.
He was initially arrested in September last year in South Africa, but was only handed over to the Namibian Police Force last week due to the lengthy extradition process.
Pretorius, who was also placed on Interpol’s most wanted list, is facing at least 19 charges, including rape, indecent assault and human trafficking. He arrived at the Walvis Bay Airport on Thursday afternoon and made his first appearance in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court On Friday morning.
Magistrate Conchita Olivier immediately transferred him to the Windhoek High Court as per the Prosecutor General’s decision. He will make his first appearance in Windhoek on 23 January.
He was denied bail on the basis that he is a flight risk and that it will not be in the public’s interest to grant him bail.
Meanwhile, his co-accused Johanna Lukas is already serving her sentence at the Walvis Bay prison after Judge Petrus Damaseb sentenced her to 13 years imprisonment on several counts of human trafficking and rape in 2015.
Lukas was convicted on four counts of trafficking in persons and four counts of rape under coercive circumstances in respect of one complainant and another count of trafficking in persons and rape without coercive circumstances in respect of a second complainant.