22 Jan 2018 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JAN (NAMPA) A South African national accused of 19 human trafficking and rape offences in Namibia before he fled to his native country in September 2012, is scheduled to make his first appearance in the High Court here on Tuesday.
Marthinus Pretorius, 46, a former South African police officer, appeared in the Swakopmund Magistrates Court on 16 December last year, when he was informed of the Prosecutor-Generals decision to transfer his case to the Windhoek High Court for his first appearance on 23 January 2018.
Pretorius appeared in the Swakopmund court shortly after he was extradited from South Africa.
The other charges against Pretorius, 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.
The former fugitive allegedly raped three minor girls aged between 13 and 14 in Swakopmund in 2012 before fleeing the country.
Pretorius was arrested in South Africa in April 2016 after which the extradition process commenced and concluded in December 2017, when he was finally brought back to Namibia to face the charges.
He was employed at Rössing Uranium Mine near Arandis at the time of committing the alleged crimes.
His co-accused, Johanna Lukas, 24, who provided the minor 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 High Court Judge President Petrus Damaseb in August 2015.
Pretorius is said to have paid Lukas N.dollars 10 000.
Lukas is the first person in Namibia to be convicted of trafficking children for sexual exploitation.
Pretorius remains in police custody due to, among others, the seriousness of the 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.