Johannesburg - Alleged child sex ringleader Gerhard Ackerman’s bail has been revoked by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
The High Court cancelled Ackerman’s bail after he failed to honour a court appearance, with the NPA subsequently approaching the high court for Ackerman’s warrant of arrest.
He was later re-arrested on Sunday after he went AWOL, thus violating his bail conditions.
Ackerman had failed to appear in court on Thursday, January 26, 2023, citing ill health. He also failed to produce a medical certificate to prove that he had fallen ill on the day he was meant to appear in court.
An inquiry into his non-appearance was first heard on Monday, and the second part continued yesterday (Wednesday).
It has been reported that Ackerman, who faces 740 counts of crime, including rape, attempted murder, the production and distribution of child pornography, and human trafficking, was planning to escape to Botswana or Cape Town to evade his arrest.
His movement in a bid to find cheaper lodgings led him to travel to Pretoria on the day of his court appearance last week, resulting in the state prosecutor arguing that he had violated his bail conditions and didn’t take the case seriously.
Also yesterday, the father of one of the victims gave testimony against Ackerman, saying the accused had lured his son from the Free State to Johannesburg under the guise of becoming "a masseuse".
He said young boys were forced to entertain and massage clients that had been organised by Ackerman.
Ackerman had argued that his bail conditions had been amended, which allowed him to possess a laptop and a smartphone and travel across the province of Gauteng.
However, state prosecutor Valencia Dube argued that a magistrate’s court couldn’t amend bail conditions, because the matter had already been referred to the high court.
In the end, the judge revoked Ackerman’s bail when he delivered his judgment and due to the nature of the allegations against him.
On Friday, Dube had approached the court with an urgent application to have Ackerman's bail cancelled following his failure to comply with the court order to furnish the State with a doctor's note on Friday, January 27.
At the time, Ackerman was out on a R6 000 bail. He was apprehended after an investigation team, comprised of a Captain Banks and a Warrant Officer Pelser, acted swiftly and visited his house after realising that the accused had become unreachable.