Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
30 Mar 2021
4:06 pm

Pressure group ‘shocked’ at arrest of Western Cape farmer for possession of child porn

Thapelo Lekabe

Earlier this month, the Swellendam Magistrate’s Court released the suspect on R2,000 bail and due in court again on 13 May 2021.

Picture: iStock

Civil rights organisation Action Society on Tuesday expressed its concern at the arrest of an Overberg farmer and father earlier this month for possession of child pornography.

The organisation said the 48-year-old man was the fourth person arrested in South Africa for child pornography since October 2020. He was arrested during a joint operation by local police and officers from the US Department of Homeland Security at the US embassy.

The suspect is accused of violating the Film and Publications Act and frequenting a chat room where participants shared explicit sexual conversations and footage of minors. The Swellendam Magistrate’s Court released him on R2,000 bail and he is due in court again on 13 May 2021.

Action Society spokesperson Dr Rineé Pretorius said they were shocked the suspect was released on bail and demanded a double life sentence if he is found guilty. Pretorius also said the organisation was worried about his further contact with minors.

Pretorius said in September 2020, Action Society was informed that the National Register of Sex Offenders (NRSO) had not been updated for years and was therefore of little use. She called for the management of the NRSO to be privatised.

“How many children are exposed to sexual abuse and assault due to our dysfunctional system? That is why Action Society launched the ‘Know your neighbour’ campaign in 2020 and urged the government to release the NRSO,” Pretorius said.

“How many children have been adopted by paedophiles over the last decade? Without a proper NRSO we are giving offenders a golden opportunity to transgress again. The obsolete NSRO serves no purpose at all and our children are in danger.”

Pretorius said only employers in the public or private sector who work with children or the mentally handicapped (for example schools, crèches and hospitals) have access to the register to ensure prospective employees are not offenders.

“We are becoming more and more aware that atrocities are happening right under our noses. The public must stand together in an effort to expose these sex monsters. For the sake of our children, we need to know who they are,” she said.

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