28 Jan 2019 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 28 JAN (NAMPA)- Martinus Pretorius, a 48-year-old South African national facing 19 human trafficking and rape offences committed in Namibia in 2012, will undergo a medical operation in the next few weeks.
Pretorius made another appearance before Deputy High Court Judge-President Hosea Angula during a pre-trial conference of case management review on Monday, when he told the court he will undergo an operation in the next few weeks because he is suffering from back pain.
Without providing the requisite health documentation for his operation, Pretorius said the operation needs to take place soon due to the severity of the pain and that he will, as a result, be unable to sit or stand for a long time in court.
In addition, Pretorius also informed the court he had a similar operation while in police custody in South Africa after his arrest.
In the result, Angula issued an order directing Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, Tuhafeni Hangula, to testify before court on 05 February 2019 in respect of the accused's health problems and scheduled operation.
State Advocate Felistas Shikerete-Vendura is appearing for the prosecution while local veteran defence lawyer Zagrys Grobler is defending Pretorius.
Pretorius, a former South African police officer, also faces other charges emanating from the coercive circumstances in which the alleged rape and human trafficking offences took place.
These include assault by threat, common assault and malicious damage to property.
He allegedly raped three minor girls, aged between 13 and 14, in Swakopmund in the Erongo Region in 2012, before fleeing the country in September of the same year.
Pretorius was arrested in South Africa in April 2016, after which he was extradited to Namibia in December 2017 to face the charges against him.
He was employed by the Rössing Uranium Mine near Arandis when the alleged crimes took place.
His co-accused, Namibian Johanna Lukas, who allegedly 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.