Dawie de Villiers is not a paedophile – social worker

2018-01-24 22:02
Dawie de Villiers in court. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Dawie de Villiers in court. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg – Former model boss Dawie de Villiers is not a paedophile as more victims would have come forward at this stage, and reports of his unlawful conduct would have surfaced much earlier, a social worker testified on Wednesday.

Johanna Katarina Wolmarans, a social worker in private practice who said she has specialised in compiling pre-sentencing reports for the past 20 years, was speaking at De Villiers' pre-sentencing at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. 

"If he was a paedophile, I can promise you, there would have been a lot of new charges," she said.

READ: Former model agency boss 'still wants his freedom', court hears

In February, De Villiers was found guilty on 26 of 38 charges, including sexual assault, exposing children to pornography, raping a child, fraud and accessing child pornography – crimes he committed between 2008 and 2013.

Wolmarans' opinion was that since the victims did not get trauma or emotional counselling after their ordeals, it meant they did not suffer from trauma. 

During cross-examination, state prosecutor Advocate Arveena Persad disputed this argument, saying that even after De Villiers was first arrested in 2009 following the allegations, he raped a young woman in 2010.

No remorse

Persad added that it was the right of the young women whether to seek counselling or not. 

Wolmarans told the court that De Villiers did not show remorse with regards to the rape of a minor. 

"He still denies many of the allegations made against him," she said.

Dressed in a black suit, De Villiers shook his head as Persad cross-examined Wolmarans.

Wolmarans said De Villiers should not have got himself into a situation where he was taking advantage of girls, especially those under 16, because the community and parents of the minors trusted him.

Nonetheless, she believed the court should be lenient towards him as he had never been incarcerated before, and had no previous convictions or new cases pending. 

Sentencing delays

De Villiers was described as a dedicated father, breadwinner and sole provider for his younger children, who had already gone through a lot of trauma because of the case.

Wolmarans said the accused was suffering from stress and tension headaches as a result of the case against him. She said the case had placed a strain on his family life and his relationship with his children.

She said media reports on the allegations in 2013 had a huge financial impact on his business, where he is the CEO, raking in R40 000 a month. 

There was an allegation that De Villiers may have misled legal aid – which represented him at a financially difficult stage – while he was paying R16 000 a month for his house. Wolmarans said that she was told that De Villiers got financial help from his father. 

His trial began in August 2015, but his sentencing was marked by endless delays.

The case was postponed for further investigation after it emerged that Wolmarans had not read the judgment of the trial, and had only conducted limited interviews. 

Judge Cassim Moosa said it was in the interest of justice and fairness to allow Wolmarans to furnish herself with the necessary information to compile a balanced pre-sentencing report, including possibly meeting with the victims.

"I would suggest that this witness looks at the judgment," he said, adding that he did not want an absence of evidence to only be discovered after cross-examination. 

De Villiers is set to appear in court again on February 21. His bail has been extended. 

Read more on:    dawie de villiers  |  crime

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