Johannesburg - In response to alleged child sex ring kingpin Gerhard Ackerman’s disappearance and rearrest, the organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) said it was appalled by his attempt to escape the hands of justice.
“Which to us is a clear admission of guilt. We also cannot ignore the impact that this has on the victims involved,” the non-profit child protection organisation said.
It said the case highlights the distorted human rights issue South Africa has, which is that the rights of the offenders are trumping the rights of the victims by far.
“We have made no progress toward recognising the supremacy of the rights of victims in the system. It appears the rich and powerful are even more immune to the might of the law, as we do not believe Ackerman would’ve received bail had it not been for the influence of his co-accused, Paul Kennedy,” the WMACA said.
“Unfortunately, people blame the victims for reporting the abuse that we now know led to the death of Kennedy. This blame leads to the victims being further victimised.”
The WMACA urged the NPA to submit an application to have his bail revoked at the last court hearing, given the weight of the charges against him.
“Ackerman should have never been granted bail in the original case in the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court. When the matter in Alex appeared before the court, he already had prior offences and other pending matters against him. This should have been indicative of his non-eligibility for bail in the first place,” the organisation said.
The WMACA said it will continue tracking developments in this case.