SA returns suspected trafficker to Namibia

16 Dec 2017 10:50am
SWAKOPMUND, 16 DEC (NAMPA) – A South African citizen who allegedly committed 19 human trafficking and rape offences in Namibia and fled to South Africa, was extradited on Thursday.
Other charges against him, which emanated from coercive circumstances in which the alleged rapes and trafficking took place, are assault by threat, common assault and malicious damage to property.
Marthinus Pretorius, 46, a former South African police officer, appeared in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court on Friday where he was informed of the Prosecutor General’s decision to transfer his case to the High Court.
The former fugitive, who allegedly raped three minor girls aged between 13 and 14 in Swakopmund in 2012 before fleeing to South Africa, is expected before the High Court on 23 January 2018.
He was employed at Rössing Uranium mine at the time of committing the alleged crimes.
Pretorius was remanded in police custody due to among other reasons, the seriousness of his case, that granting him bail will not be in the interest of society and that the State believes it has a strong case against him.
He was arrested in South Africa in April last year, after which the extradition process commenced and concluded this year when he was brought to Namibia on Thursday.
His co-accused, Johanna Lukas, 24, who allegedly sold the girls to Pretorius on four occasions between April and May 2012, was sentenced to 13 years’ direct imprisonment on counts of human trafficking and rape.
The judgement was handed down by Judge President Petrus Damaseb in August 2015.
Pretorius is said to have paid Lukas N.dollars 10 000 for the children.
Lukas is the first person in Namibia to be convicted of trafficking children for sexual exploitation.