South African national and admitted paedophile Marthinus Pretorius will hear this Friday in the Windhoek High Court if he is guilty of trafficking minor girls.
Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula will deliver the much-anticipated ruling. Pretorius pleaded guilty to six counts of rape when his trial started, but pleaded not guilty to six counts of child trafficking.
He said the victims were brought to him or came on their own free will and that he never detained any of them at his house.
He admitted to having wrongfully and unlawfully committed a sexual act with a female minor who was 13 years old at the time during five occasions in May 2012 and that coercive circumstances were present in that the complainant was under the age of 14 years.
The 41-year-old said he was thus guilty of rape. He further admitted to having committed a sexual act with another minor female, aged 14, during June of 2012 and that coercive circumstances were present in that the complainant was 14 years old at the time and was exceptionally vulnerable because of her age.
He further stated that on two occasions during May, the first complainant was accompanied by Johanna Lukas and at the other three occasions she came alone. Lukas was already convicted by Judge President Petrus Damaseb and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015. Pretorius further claimed at all times he paid the complainants “for services rendered” and denied he used force or in any manner compelled them to have sex with him. He further said he plead not guilty to the charges of trafficking. “All the complainants came to my house voluntarily on the basis that I pay them for sex and I cannot understand on what basis I can be held liable of trafficking,” he said. “I furthermore did not detain any girl at my house against her will.” Pretorius was charged with 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 to a mine in the Erongo region in 2012. The State, however, withdrew the charges for the third complainant as it came to light that she was 18 years old and was coerced by her mother to engage in intercourse with Pretorius in exchange for money. Pretorius managed to flee to his native South Africa after his alleged devious scheme to procure young girls from a Swakopmund woman for his perverted sexual pleasure. 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 2017 due to the long extradition process. His State-funded lawyer, Zacharias Grobler asked the court to acquit him on the trafficking charges as the State failed to prove the allegations. According to Grobler, the girls came to Pretorius voluntarily and he never forced any of them to come to his house. State prosecutor Felicitas Sikerete-Vendura asked the court to convict Pretorius as the girls were still young, adding he took advantage of their circumstances to exploit them which is exactly what trafficking entails. He is currently being held at the Windhoek Correctional facility’s section for trial awaiting prisoners.