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Cape Town - The 77-year-old man accused of sexually exploiting at least three teenage girls at his Richwood home has died while incarcerated at Goodwood Prison.
Correctional Services spokesman Simphiwe Xako confirmed on Tuesday that Roger Haupt died on Saturday after a long battle with a life-threatening illness.
Haupt, who faced at least 14 counts related to the sexual assault of two 14-year-old girls, a 15-year-old girl, and a 20-year-old woman over four years, was arrested on July 15.
He was denied bail in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court a month later.
During his bail application he reportedly testified that he acted as a saviour to underprivileged children who frequented his home, by giving them food, shelter and taking them on outings. “These young females from Dunoon started coming to me about 13 years ago.
Most of them came from broken families where their parents are poor and drink. They used to come and swim after school and do their homework. Some did sleep over sometimes, but I will reserve a full explanation during my trial,” he said in August.
Haupt said he had been divorced for 20 years, had a brother who lived in the UK and he rarely saw his three children, aged 51, 49 and 47, who all lived abroad.
After police searched his house they confiscated sex toys, more than 90 pornographic videos and 240 pornographic magazines.
Haupt had not yet pleaded to charges of rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of children, sexual grooming and exposure or display of pornography to children.
The State alleged the girls were recruited from Dunoon and taken to Richwood where they were sexually abused. One of the girls was just 11 when she was recruited.
The prosecution had argued that bail should be denied because Haupt was a danger to children.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said official comment on what exactly would happen to the case against Haupt would be revealed in court.
Haupt was scheduled to appear in court next Friday.
He was once one of the city’s great movers and shakers. Thirty years ago, he was the toast of the town as head organiser of the massively popular “Design for Living” exhibitions of the 1980s in the Good Hope Centre.
Before his arrest, it appears Haupt had hoped to recreate his successes with a Cape Town Financial Festival - incorporating Design for Modern Living at the Good Hope Centre.