WINDHOEK – Local lawyer Mese Tjituri on Friday informed Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula he wants to withdraw from the trial of alleged paedophile Marthinus Pretorius.
He did not give any reasons for his decision to withdraw, but told New Era that Pretorius is not serious about his trial starting.
The trial was supposed to start on Wednesday last week, but Pretorius asked for more time to prepare his defence on multiple rape and human trafficking charges in the Windhoek High Court.
Judge Angula then stood the matter down and summoned legal aid to enquire from them if they will be able to appoint another legal aid lawyer for Pretorius before the next court date, July 16.
It is expected that Pretorius will then plead to 13 charges of rape and trafficking in persons, alternatively committing a sexual act with a child below 16 years of age for allegedly defiling three minor girls while he was attached at Swakopmund’s Rössing Mine in 2012.
Pretorius will then go on trial after he managed to flee to his native South Africa after his alleged devious schemes to procure young girls from a Swakopmund woman for his perverted sexual pleasures.
He was arrested in Johannesburg, South Africa in March 2016 after Namibian authorities asked theirs South African counterparts to extradite him to Namibia to stand trial on his alleged misdeeds, but was only extradited to Namibia last December due to the long extradition process.
Currently he is held at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting prisoners.
The woman he allegedly procured the underage (13 and 14 years old) girls from, Johanna Lukas, was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison by Judge President Damaseb in 2015.
The State alleges Pretorius paid Lukas N$10,000 to bring the underage girls to his residence in Swakopmund where he would commit sexual acts with them.
During the trial of Lukas, it came to light that the girls were paid by Pretorius anything from N$100 to N$300 at a time.
According to the charge sheet he received the first complainant, who was 13 years old at the time, from Lukas on April 23, 2012 and is thus guilty of trafficking in humans which as an offence under the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act, and raped her. He faces nine charges in respect of the first complainant – four trafficking in persons and five rape counts.
It is alleged by the State he received and raped the girl once in April and then another five times during May, 2012.
In respect of the second victim, the State alleges that Pretorius received and raped the girl, who was 14 years old at the time, once during the month of June 2012. He also received another underage girl during the month of June, 2012 and raped her, the charge sheet states.
The prosecution will be represented by Felicitas Sikerete-Vendura.