The alleged child sex-ring kingpin, Gerhard Ackerman, had his bail revoked by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday. This comes after he fails to appear in court on Thursday, January 26, claiming illness.
The 52-year-old offender failed to provide a medical certificate to prove that he was ill on the day he was designated to be in court. Ackerman claimed that the medical certificate was misplaced in his wallet.
The kingpin was recaptured by residents at a shopping center in Florida, Johannesburg, following a warrant of his arrest that was issued by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) following his disappearance. National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said: "The role played by the South African media in his apprehension must be applauded as the images circulated by the media led to members of the public spotting Ackerman in Florida in the west of Johannesburg."
It is believed that on Friday, Ackerman moved out of the apartment he was renting and sold all his possessions on the day before his court appearance. Ackerman was rearrested on Sunday. It was also found that he wanted to buy an illegal firearm to commit suicide before going to jail; he, however, dismissed these claims.
Gerhard Ackerman faces 740 charges, including human trafficking of minor children for sexual exploitation to attempted murder, rape, distribution of child porn, and attempting to escape to Cape Town or Botswana to evade his arrest.
A victim's father took to the stand to give his testimony against Gerhard, surmising that the accused used Facebook to lure his son from the Free State to Johannesburg to become a masseuse at his massage parlor. He also made mention of the fact that young boys were forced to massage and entertain clients that had been organized by Gerhard.
On Saturday, state attorney Valencia Dube made an urgent appeal to the court to withdraw Gerhard Ackerman's bail because he disobeyed the court's directive to give the state a doctor's note to confirm his illness.
In 2021, Ackerman was granted R6,000 bail by the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on the condition that he report to the neighborhood police station every day. Additionally, he was forbidden from leaving Gauteng without the investigating officer's approval.
Judge Ismail Mahomed ordered that Mr. Ackerman be kept in custody under supervision until his next court appearance, considering the claims that he wanted to commit suicide.
This is a developing story
Photo credit: Alex Mitchley News24
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