Marthinus Pretorius, who was convicted of raping and trafficking two girls, has been sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.
Handing down the sentence, Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula said it would be in the interest of the public that Pretorius (51) is removed from society to protect young girls and hopefully by the time he finishes his sentence, he would have lost the appetite of committing such heinous crimes.
Pretorius, a father of three, was informed that at an advanced age, he betrayed the trust society had bestowed upon him and preyed on minors, instead of protecting them. “The fact that your own daughter was at the time the same age as the victims is an aggravating factor,” stressed Angula.
He said Pretorius has failed to appreciate the psychological damage and trauma he has caused his victims.
The court noted that the rape cases not only damaged the victims permanently, but also left a scar on the perpetrator’s family.
Thus, in response to the public’s cry about the increasing rape cases, the courts have been doing their best to curb the incidences by imposing deterring sentences.
In 2020, Pretorius was convicted on six counts rape and five counts of trafficking in persons after the court found that he received two girls - then 13 and 14-years-old, respectively - at his house in Swakopmund for the purpose of sexual exploitation. As a result, he was also guilty of trafficking in persons in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. At the start of his trial, Pretorius pleaded guilty to six counts of rape, but pleaded not guilty to six counts of child trafficking. He claimed the girls were brought to him or came of their own free will, and he never detained any of them at his house. Pretorius was charged with 13 counts 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 local mine 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. He afterwards 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 were uncovered. Pretorius was arrested in Johannesburg in March 2016 after the Namibian authorities asked their South African counterparts to extradite him to Namibia to stand trial for his alleged misdeeds, but he was only extradited to Namibia in December 2018 due to the long extradition process.