- A 53-year-old man faces more than 730 charges relating to a child sex ring he allegedly operated in Gauteng between 2020 and 2021.
- It has since emerged that the man has been charged in multiple cases, also involving minor victims.
- The man was initially arrested and charged alongside acting judge and senior advocate, Paul Kennedy.
The 53-year-old man charged with more than 730 counts of rape, trafficking, sexual assault and child pornography, relating to a child sex ring that he allegedly ran, has been accused of multiple other crimes, also involving children.
News24 first reported in 2021 that the man was arrested and charged alongside acting judge and senior advocate, Paul Kennedy.
The pair faced hundreds of charges, including rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, possession of child pornography and the sexual grooming of minors.
However, a week before they were meant to appear in court again, Kennedy died by suicide.
A week earlier, the court ordered that both accused undergo testing for HIV after one of the alleged victims tested positive for the virus.
While the State could no longer pursue charges against Kennedy, due to his death, the criminal case against his accused went ahead.
READ | Child sex ring: Indictment paints picture of advocate's involvement in trafficking, grooming victims
The accused appeared in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday, where the State asked that the matter be postponed to January 2023 for trial.
This was after the State had previously asked for postponements due to more victims coming forward, and that other cases against the accused had been identified in different parts of the country.
In October last year, News24 reported that the accused had been out on bail for the alleged sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy when he allegedly committed a myriad of sexual offences against other minors, with Kennedy.
News24 has obtained a charge sheet in which the advocate's co-accused was charged with four counts of sexual assault, dating back to August 2018.
It is alleged that he forced the minor to touch his penis in a public bathroom at an upmarket country club. The minor was there to play a hockey match.
According to the charge sheet, the man was arrested on 24 August 2018 and released on R5 000 bail three days later.
The string of crimes allegedly committed with Kennedy took place between September 2020 and July 2021, shortly before their arrests.
This case has since gone to trial in Alexandra Magistrate's Court, where the accused pleaded not guilty.
A month before being arrested for the matter before Alexandra Magistrate's Court, the man was also accused of public indecency after allegedly exposing himself to an 11-year-old boy in a bathroom at a swimming school in Sandton in July 2018.
Police previously confirmed to News24 that a charge of unlawfully and intentionally exposing/displaying or causing the exposure/display of genital organs (public indecency) had been opened.
However, at the time, the case was temporarily struck off the roll as the victim's parents wanted the case withdrawn because they did not want to subject their son to more trauma.
READ | More victims come forward in Gauteng child sex ring case allegedly involving advocate Paul Kennedy
The case will now be joined to the one before the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
It further emerged that there was a pending matter in the Western Cape, where he faced charges of indecent exposure and the sexual grooming of a minor. This was after he allegedly exposed himself to minors at a holiday resort in Da Gamaskop.
On Monday, the State prosecutor, Valencia Dube, said the Western Cape case had been centralised and now formed part of the main child sex ring case.
The State also found a similar case in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal.
Dube said the victim had been traced, but the prosecution authority was still searching for the docket before the matter could be centralised.
In addition, other victims in Gauteng had also since come forward, including a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly violently raped by the accused. This victim is allegedly linked to the main child sex ring case.
The State is confident that the matter will be ready for trial once the Scottburgh case has been centralised.
Meanwhile, the court also heard that Legal Aid would appoint a private attorney for the accused, due to the voluminous nature of the charges against him.
Judge Mohamed Ismail gave Legal Aid a week to make the appointment, citing that staff shortages or issues in the Legal Aid office should not be the court's problem.
He also told the State and the defence that he wanted the case finalised before the end of next year.