Roland Routh WINDHOEK - Alleged paedophile Marthinus Pretorius yesterday asked Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula for more time to prepare his defence on multiple rape and human trafficking charges in the Windhoek High Court. His State-funded lawyer Mese Tjituri informed the judge that he cannot properly consult with Pretorius as the latter is unable to give him proper instructions on how to proceed. Pretorius told Judge Angula that he needed time to study the disclosed documents, including the docket, before he can mount a proper defence. He also asked for colour copies of the photographs contained in the docket. Tjituri told the court that he availed the docket to Pretorius in April this year for him to go through it – but Pretorius insisted that he only had insight into the docket for one week before Tjituri took it back. “It just wasn’t enough time for me to prepare my defence,” Pretorius said to the judge. On a question from Judge Angula whether Pretorius is dissatisfied with Tjituri as his legal representative, Pretorius said he has no qualms with his lawyer and the only thing he wants is a copy of the docket to prepare his defence. “My Lord, I do not wish to waste the court’s time, but I am entitled to prepare the best defence I can as this is a very sensitive and complex case,” he told Judge Angula. The Judge was not happy with the situation as he was of the view that Pretorius had various opportunities during the pre-trial conferences to air his grievance of not having had time to study the docket, to which Pretorius replied that his counsel knew of his grievance. Judge Angula then postponed the matter to tomorrow for Tjituri and Pretorius to come to an understanding and ordered the registrar to make a copy of the docket available to Pretorius at the State’s costs in the meantime. The matter was supposed to start yesterday with Pretorius to 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, but will now probably only start on July 16. 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 the Namibian authorities asked the South African authorities to extradite him to Namibia to stand trial on his alleged misdeeds, but was only extradited to Namibia in December last year due to the long extradition process. He is currently being 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 already convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison by Judge President Damaseb in 2015. The State alleges that 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 that 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. Felicitas Sikerete-Vendura is to prosecute.
2018-06-28 09:13:54 2 months ago