Plettenberg Bay paedophile case postponed

A 37-year-old computer engineer appeared in the Plettenberg Bay Magistrates Court today.

FILE: The case against a Plettenberg Bay man who is being investigated for possible links to an international child porn ring has been postponed. Picture: Saps

CAPE TOWN - The case against a Plettenberg Bay man who is being investigated for possible links to an international child porn ring has been postponed.

The 37-year-old computer engineer appeared in the Plettenberg Bay Magistrates Court today.

He was apprehended in January during an international sting operation when the South African Police Service (Saps) joined forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Belgian authorities in a child pornography crackdown.

Belgian police found the man's internet address after coming across an online meeting space for paedophiles.

He was taken into custody after he allegedly confessed to police he possessed and distributed thousands of images and videos of babies being sexually assaulted.

Belgian authorities then alerted their South African counterparts.

The police's Heila Niemand says the investigation continues.

"The case has been postponed to 12 May for a regional court date."

The accused, who was arrested with two others, was released on R10,000 bail at his last court appearance

Meanwhile, a Women and Men Against Child Abuse's spokesperson says a group of residents have been picketing outside court.

"We can only gather, we can only keep putting in petitions, we can only keep putting pressure on the state to change the laws. The sentences for these guys are son minimal, they are nothing more than a slap on the wrist for images of children being raped and killed, of babies and toddlers in nappies."

OTHER ARRESTS FROM THE CRACKDOWN:

  • A 33-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were arrested in their Port Elizabeth home for being in possession of and distributing child pornography.

  • A man from Grahamstown was also arrested recently. His case involved some 600 children from America. It's believed the man is one of the leaders of an international child porn syndicate and the FBI is working on having him extradited to face charges in the US.

_LISTEN: _ A Belgian officer speaks to 567 Cape Talk's John Maytham.