We were at the Alberton Magistrate Court to day to monitor court proceedings and finally the defence is ready for a bail application which will be heard on the 6th June – if you would like to join us in opposing bail for this child rapist case which involves around 35 or more children please join us -wear black and come to the Alberton Court from 9am 6 June
Archive for May, 2012
Cape Town – The NPA in the Western Cape was on Thursday granted leave to appeal a judgment that a man cannot to be sentenced because of a flaw in the Sexual Offences Act.
A full bench of judges in the Western Cape High Court found the National Prosecuting Authority had a reasonable chance of success in another court.
It was given leave to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Earlier this month, the court upheld a decision by the Riversdale Magistrate’s Court that a man who forcibly fondled a woman in 2009 could not be sentenced because the behaviour had no penalty under the act.
Arnold Prins was charged with sexual assault in terms of the act, which came into effect at the end of 2007.
If the judgment is upheld, it would particularly affect sexual criminal cases in the province, as magistrate’s courts were bound by high court decisions.
Other offences without a penalty include sexual assault, consensual sexual acts with children, sexual exploitation and grooming of children, and sexual offences against mentally disabled people.
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said the government would also appeal the ruling.
Story appereared in the Boston Globe – author Bob Hohler, 21 May 2012 – NEWPORT, R.I. – Visitors to the International Tennis Hall of Fame find centuries of the sport’s history at their fingertips – interactive tributes to 220 stars such as Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf, Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson.
When they reach a touch-screen display honoring South African tennis legend Bob Hewitt, they learn he was one of the most “enduringly elegant’’ doubles players of all time. There is no mention of Hewitt’s purported secret life.
Missing is any reference to the nearly dozen women on three continents who last year accused him of sexually abusing them between the 1970s and early 1990s when he was their coach and they were underage.
Nine months after the hall announced it would investigate the allegations – “We’re going to be diligent about it and see what we can discover,’’ vowed Tony Trabert, the hall’s president at the time – it turns out there is no inquiry. Executive director Mark Stenning told the Globe that the hall scrapped the investigation in favor of drafting a policy to address similar issues. He said the board will consider the proposal, which he declined to explain, in July.
The decision, a striking contrast to the US Gymnastic Hall of Fame’s swift expulsion last year of an inductee facing sexual abuse allegations, has angered Hewitt’s alleged victims and several prominent former players.
“Sadly, people are afraid to stand up for right, good, and honesty,’’ said Heather Crowe Conner, who had just turned 15 in 1976 when Hewitt, then playing for the Boston Lobsters, allegedly first had sex with her near the tennis courts at Masconomet Regional High School. “They are afraid of hurting people. But the person they are protecting is not the one who needs protecting.’’
To the women and those who support them, the hall of fame’s backpedaling is emblematic of leaders throughout professional tennis distancing themselves from Hewitt’s alleged misconduct and the women’s pain. The scandal looms as the tennis community prepares for the spring and summer classics – the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open – and the hall of fame’s annual induction ceremony in July.
Hewitt, 72, has not been charged with a crime. The statute of limitations has expired in the United States on most of the allegations. The statute does not apply in South Africa, where the National Prosecuting Authority is investigating complaints from at least five of Hewitt’s former tennis students. The women filed the complaints after a Globe report last September detailed Hewitt’s history of alleged sexual misconduct.
SA coach held for rape
May 22 2012 at 09:32am
By Kamcilla Pillay
A suspected paedophile sports coach who was granted bail by a Durban magistrate earlier this month has been arrested at his home in Europe for alleged sexual abuse relating to a Durban athlete.
The man, coaching a team there for the upcoming London Olympics, was arrested on Friday.
This happened almost a month after he was arrested by the SAPS family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit at King Shaka International Airport on allegations of sex crimes two years ago involving a Durban girl, now 14 years old.
The teen, currently in Europe for a sports event, had claimed she was also previously sexually assaulted by the coach in Europe.
Her father, who cannot be named to protect her identity, had notified authorities in Europe, said Marc Hardwick, a private investigator who deals with crimes against children.
Hardwick said he had interviewed the teen last Monday, at the request of her family, and she revealed that the coach had also assaulted her in the country where he was now living.
A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office in the country in which the suspect was arrested, said on Monday it was for the alleged sexual abuse of a South African girl, and he remained in custody.
“Bail is possible, but unlikely.”
The warrant of arrest had been issued on Friday and the arrest was effected the same day, the prosecution spokesman said. The accused had appeared before the magistrate who issued the warrant.
“The warrant of arrest is based on the (alleged) victim’s testimony and in case of a conviction, (the accused) is facing a minimum penalty of two years and a maximum penalty of 15 years,” he said.
If additional charges were brought against him, he would appear in court again.
The coach is also set to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court again in August, to face allegations of rape of a child, sexual assault of a child, grooming a child for the purposes of sexual assault, as well as possessing and distributing child pornography.
“I know about the circumstances in South Africa, but right about now, I cannot predict what will happen until August,” said the European prosecution official.
“At this very moment, (the accused) is facing one charge, but I would like to emphasise that he is innocent until proven guilty. There will be more details after the preliminary proceedings are concluded.”
John Lister, the attorney and spokesman for the family of the girl, said that they had been notified of Friday’s developments.
“We were told that he would be facing rape charges (relating to a minor),” Lister said.
He said the coach, while South African, was a permanent resident in the European country and would be charged where he had allegedly perpetrated the crimes.
Her father said that he had learned that authorities there had “extensive evidence” of the coach’s alleged crimes, but would not go into details so as not to jeopardise the investigation.
The coach would now be preparing for his trial by assembling a defence team there.
When the Daily News sought confirmation from the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, it emerged that officials in Pretoria had by Monday not yet been told of the arrest.
“Usually we are notified of any incident involving a South African national. We expect to hear from them soon,” said department spokesman Clayson Monyela.
The coach was arrested in Durban on April 24 after being persuaded to return to the country by the father of the alleged victim, who had been in contact with the man’s wife.
The suspect had been under the impression that his trip to Durban was merely to apologise to the girl and her family and to sign a non-disclosure agreement before he could fly back to Europe.
But he was arrested soon after landing and appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court.
He has not pleaded to the local charges, and therefore cannot be named.
The coach had applied for bail. The State unsuccessfully opposed it.
The prosecutor, Priscilla Paterson, had argued that, if granted bail, the alleged victim would come face-to-face with him at the sports tournament in Europe.
Magistrate Trevor Levitt allowed bail of R80 000, criticising the police and the State for condoning the manner in which the coach had been lured and nabbed.
Levitt said the suspect had been deceived.
After the ruling, the coach flew back to his family, leaving the Durban father vowing to fight on:
“He will face his day in court. This is not finished,” he had said after the coach’s passport was returned to him in court after being granted bail.
“I will continue to fight for my daughter.”
He said on Monday his daughter had left for a tournament in Europe on Saturday morning.
“If I had the opportunity to speak to (the coach) again, I’d ask him why he broke our trust; he was supposed to take care of our child. He was supposed to develop her, but he broke her down,” he said.
While pleased that the man had been arrested, he said that ultimately the whole situation was “an extremely sad thing”.
“I wouldn’t use the word happiness – I’m pleased he’s not walking free”.
New Zealand investigators built up trust with people sharing child sex abuse photos on social networking sites, sparking a global clampdown that has removed 12 children from harm, including one Kiwi.
The Department of Internal Affairs today announced authorities had arrested 55 people worldwide, including some who took part in the abuse shown in the images, following a covert investigation by its censorship compliance unit.
The unit found child sex abuse and exploitation pictures were being shared in significant numbers through closed groups on social networking sites like Facebook, Socialgo and Grou.ps.
Operation Laminar was launched after evidence was provided to authorities in 20 countries, including Interpol and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) child exploitation unit.
A dozen children, including babies and one New Zealander, were identified and removed from harm.
Most of the 55 people identified in the operation have already been imprisoned or are facing prosecution.
None are from New Zealand, but five people identified in the department’s earlier covert investigation are facing court action here.
An Internal Affairs spokesman said online investigators found the social networking groups by widening the scope of their usual inquiries.
“They’ve always been involved with file sharing and peer-to-peer networks, and in the course of these investigations came across the use of the social networking sites for exchanging child sex abuse imagery,” he said.
“They were operating to establish contacts, to build up trust. You don’t just go on and pull stuff up immediately.”
The spokesman said investigators’ skills had developed and widened as the internet evolved.
Internal Affairs regulatory compliance general manager Maarten Quivooy said the investigation found a large number of groups on Facebook were engaged in the display or distribution of objectionable child sexual material.
Facebook officials helped with the investigation and referred individuals proactively to ensure the site was not used to sexually exploit children or share objectionable images.
Mr Quivooy said distributing child sex abuse images was an international crime that required an international response.
“Child sex abuse imagery is not a victimless crime as it involves real children forced into degrading acts.
“Trading in or viewing these images is active offending because it involves real children often being abused both in real time and over time.”
Mr Quivooy said images of abuse lived on forever on the internet.
“They haunt the children depicted, who live daily with the knowledge that countless strangers use an image of their worst experiences for their own gratification.
“No crime impacts on us as society and as parents more deeply than the abuse of innocent children by the people they should be able to trust above all others.”
Internal Affairs Minister Chris said he applauded the work of the Department of Internal Affairs censorship team for its work
“These horrific acts of abuse are being carried out all over the world and our investigators are playing a major role in bringing the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
Interpol child crime unit head Mick Moran praised New Zealand’s initiative in launching the original investigation.
“While disrupting these networks is a significant part of the investigation, what is more important is that innocent children and in some cases babies have been rescued from physical abuse,” he said.
“There is no safe environment or anonymous area for individuals who think that they can trade and publish child abuse images online, as proved once again by this operation which should serve as a warning to others – you will be caught.”
ICE director John Morton said the operation showed there was real success when governments teamed up to attack the global distribution of images of child sexual abuse.
The 20 countries where suspects were identified were Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, United States and Venezuela.
WMACA as members of the Shukumisa Campaign endorses the following press release by:
Lawyers against Abuse/ Women’s Legal Centre
We strongly condemn the judgment of 11 May 2012 in the Western Cape High Court, which has the implication that a number of crimes in the Sexual Offences Act do not disclose offences.
It is of paramount importance that the operation of this judgment be suspended. The Sexual Offences Act is a key element of protection for victims of sexual violence, and a leading example of such legislation on a global scale. To prevent the operation of these offences, including the very serious crimes of; sexual assault, compelled sexual assault, compelling children to witness sexual acts, exposing children to pornography, sexual grooming of children, and certain sexual offences against mentally disabled people; is unlawful, potentially catastrophic, and in violation of a number of constitutional rights.
1) We believe that the court erred in its interpretation of the principle of legal certainty. The fact that the Act does not contain specific penalty clauses is not fatal to the individual offences. This is supported by the principles of statutory interpretation, a contextual reading of the authorities and the general provisions in the Act dealing with factors to be considered by a court when passing sentence. These all clearly point to an intention of the legislature that a court would always be able to hand down sentence. In fact, the High Court in Kwa Zulu Natal came to the opposite conclusion to the Western Cape High Court.
2) Gender-based violence and the abuse of women and children is rife in South Africa. To prevent the operation of the Sexual Offences Act on the range of crimes specified is to leave victims without the protection of the law at the time when they most need it. Furthermore, the judgment could operate to allow convicted and dangerous perpetrators to be released from jail, putting others at risk.
3) This judgment has an impact on a range of constitutional rights, including the rights of children (which the Constitution states are paramount), the right to be free from violence, the right to dignity and freedom and security of the person, and the right to access to justice.
We have called on the legislature to remedy the perceived loopholes in the Act as a matter of urgency. We furthermore support the Shukumisa campaign’s call for increased participation for civil society in this process.
We at WMACA are outraged, extremely angryand disallusionned after a High Court ruling highlighted a fatal omission in the new Sexual Offences Act. We and other childrens rights groups have been warning the Department of Justice since the Act was introduced that there were serious inadequacies which needed to be addressed but no attempt has been made to rectify this situation.
All our work at trying to secure convictions and severe sentences for child sexual offenders is in jeopardy unless Parliament and Ministers take action immediately to mathe necessary amendments and wesist that the entire Act be reviewed if we are to eradiciate the scourge of rape and all sexual offences in our society.
“Experts have warned that anyone accused of committing a sexual assault in terms of the act could now apply to have their charges quashed on the basis of the court’s ruling.
In addition, those who have already been convicted could apply to have their convictions set aside.
In effect, the judgment means that anyone accused of crimes in terms of certain sections of the new Sexual Offences Act cannot be formally charged – because legislators omitted to prescribe sentences for at least 29 offences listed in the act.”
Taken from Saturday Star – Journalist – Fatima Shroeder