WMACA along with representatives from the NPA, EFF, the media, and other organizations were at the JHB High Court on Monday, 24 April for Judgement in the case against child sex ring mastermind, Gerhard Ackerman. He was acquitted on some of the 700+ charges today but found guilty of all the remaining charges.
The matter was postponed to 18 July 2023 for further psychological evaluation of the accused. Mr Ackerman also requested that his matter be referred to a different court so that he can be helped in mitigation, while his attorney expressed his want for an expert witness to come and better explain the version of his client. Judge Ismail Mahomed granted the lengthy 10-week postponement but warned that another won’t be granted.
Summary of Some Charges and Judgement
- Human Trafficking (5 counts) – Guilty
- Benefitting from the Services of a Child Victim of Trafficking (3 counts) – Guilty
- Possession of Child Pornography (639 counts) – Guilty
- Attempted Murder (3 counts) – Guilty
- Rape of a Minor – Guilty
- Compelled Rape (1 count) – Guilty
- Sexual Assault (7 counts) – Guilty
- Sexual Grooming of Children (18 counts) – Guilty
- Sexual Exploitation of Children (11 counts) – Guilty
- Creation of Child Pornography (2 counts) – Guilty
- Distribution of Child Pornography (1 count) – Guilty
- Exposure or Display of Genitals to Children (5 counts) – Guilty
- Using Children For, Or Benefitting from Child Porn (5 counts) – Guilty
- Malicious Damage to Property (1 count) – Guilty
The charges on which he was acquitted today were either due to it being a duplicate of an already existing charge or the fact that not enough evidence was provided for them to form part of the judgement. This includes advertising the boys, inappropriate touching, and providing transportation to exploit them.
Ackerman was also initially charged alongside advocate and acting judge Paul Kennedy who died by suicide in February last year. On that note, Judge Ismail said that he doesn’t like to speak ill of the dead but stated that Kennedy brought shame on himself and his profession. WMACA Founder, Miranda Jordan added: Kennedy was a vital player in this case, as he paid for the boys to be transported and he was the only one who the boys visited at home, outside of the massage parlour. He was well aware of where the case was going, and when he realized the game was up, was when he took his own life. Sentencing should send a very strong message and we will expect nothing less than a life sentence.
WMACA’s Luke Lamprecht highlights another important aspect in today’s judgement pertaining to the victim testimonies: “There are cautionary rules, but the judge was clear that the formality and technicality of such rules must never trump common sense. Even though we treat these witness versions with caution, we have to remember that there is a lot of similar fact evidence and many of these boys didn’t even know each other so this must be taken into consideration.
Overall, the judge contended that Ackerman’s evidence must be rejected in all aspects except those that are the same as the state.
For comment, please contact:
Luke Lamprecht: 065 168 2971
Miranda Jordan: 083 250 6821