Johannesburg - The High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, has issued a warrant for the arrest of Gerhard Ackerman for his failure to appear in court on January 26, citing ill-health.
According to the NPA, State advocate Valencia Dube approached the court with an urgent application earlier on Friday 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 January 27.
NPA spokesperson, Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane, said an investigating team was dispatched to Ackerman’s house to investigate the matter after Ackerman failed to appear in court.
“The investigation team, comprised of Captain Banks and Warrant Officer Pelser, acted swiftly and visited his place of residence after realising that the accused had become unreachable. On arrival, they found that the accused had moved out and sold all his movable assets. He has since disappeared, which is a contravention of the bail conditions. He was granted R6000 bail by the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court in 2021 on the conditions that he report to the nearest police station on a daily basis; he is not allowed to leave Gauteng without permission from the investigating officer; and he is not allowed to be in possession of a laptop or cellphone to access the internet,” Mjonondwane said.
Ackerman faces 740 charges ranging from rape, attempted murder, distribution of child porn and human trafficking of minor children for sexual exploitation. The trial against him resumed on January 23.
Ackerman is alleged to have worked with his co-accused, Acting Judge Paul Kennedy, who has since committed suicide, in an alleged sex ring that lured young boys. These young boys were allegedly sexually groomed, raped and exposed to pornographic material.
“The State will work tirelessly to apprehend Ackerman and welcomes any assistance that the public may provide.”
On Thursday, Ackerman’s lawyer, advocate Herman Alberts, told the court that his client was sick and thus could not make the court appearance on Thursday.
According to Alberts, Ackerman was suffering from food poisoning and would be seeing a doctor later on Thursday, who would advise on the severity of his condition.
“Unfortunately, I received a voice note from my client informing me that he has had food poisoning. He told me that he is unable to get out of bed as he is very ill and very weak, and will therefore go to the doctor today. I also advised him that he must get a medical report with the date,” his lawyer told the court.
His case was subsequently remanded to January 30, with the second State witness set to begin his testimony. The witness who was present at the court hearing was told to return on Monday to find out if he could continue with his testimony.
On Wednesday, the court heard that Ackerman’s sex ring targeted a swimming pool in the area of Sunninghill and that some of his victims were minors at the time of the incidents.