Alleged child porn photographer to remain in jail


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It is believed that dozens of Kimberley children might be victims of an alleged child pornographer following the recent arrest of a local photographer. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Kimberley -

Alleged child porn photographer and rapist, Rudolph Coetzee, will remain behind bars after he on Thursday chose to abandon his bail application when he appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court.

Coetzee, 23, faces three counts of rape, as well as several charges of manufacturing child pornography. However, it is believed that the number of charges could increase significantly when more victims are identified.

Coetzee, a well-known local photographer, was arrested after police found thousands of alleged pornographic images of children at his home-studio in Heuwelsig.

It is alleged that Coetzee took naked and semi-naked pictures of children who were brought to his home-studio for photo shoots.

It appears as if at least 20 local children in some of these images have been identified. However, the police have called on anyone who have made use of his services to contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Elizma Roos on 082 466 4512.

Coetzee made a brief appearance in court on Thursday, with short-shaven beard and hair.

His lawyer, Pierre Visagie, indicated that Coetzee would be abandoning his bail application and the case was postponed to July 11 for further investigation.

Coetzee will remain in police custody. He was arrested on May 23.

Northern Cape Childline director, Naomi Dube, on Thursday called on the Justice Department to set an example in this case and send a clear message that the violation of children’s rights would not be tolerated.

“The Northern Cape has undoubtedly become the capital of sexual crimes against children. It is extremely sad that our children has to grow up in such a sick society,” Dube said.

She further called on the Justice Department to deny bail and even the opportunity to apply for bail, when there is a suspicion that the rights of children were violated by a suspect.

The MEC for Social Development, Simon Sokatsha, slammed the incident by saying that parents should be vigilant about the safety of their children and never leave them alone with strangers.

As part of Child Protection Week, Sokatsha on Thursday visited the bereaved family of Nhlanhla Mnguni, an autistic four-year-old boy who disappeared in Ikhutseng in Warrenton several weeks ago. His body was found next to the N12 last week.

Sokatsha expressed his condolences to the family as he handed over a wreath of flowers to them. He said that communities should learn to love all children like their own.

“A child, whether it be your own or that of another, must be loved, cared for and protected at all times,” Sokatsha said.

He also paid his respects to Mervin and Heather Daniels. Their child, Charlize, died five months ago at the Universitas Hosipital in Bloemfontein, when she was only 13 days old.

They were not allowed to see the baby’s body and were denied access to her medical file. They were apparently informed by a social worker that the hospital would bury their child.

Sokatsha on Thursday said that he would personally engage the Free State MEC for Health and make sure that the parents receive clarity and closure on the matter.

He added that it was only human for parents to want to know the details of a child’s death and burial. - Diamond Fields Advertiser


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