Pretoria: 16 February 2020 – The South African Police Service’s Serial and Electronic FCS Investigation (SECI), a specialised section within Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) has arrested five alleged sexual predators in Gauteng during an operation code named ‘Moonlight’ conducted between the 10th and 14th February 2020.
The operation was conducted by members from National and Gauteng SECI in collaboration with the United States of America’s Department of Homeland Security officers (who assisted with their expertise in crime scene forensic analysis), National Crime Intelligence Cyber Crime Unit and Gauteng Forensic Social Work Services.
The team acted on information received from the Crime Intelligence Cyber Crime Unit and the initial investigation produced viable information to allow members to apply and receive search warrants.
The search warrants were executed at various properties resulting in the arrest of five men aged between 30 and 62 for possession of explicit child abuse material (images and videos). Several personal computers, hard drives, flash drives, tablets and cellphones which contain explicit child abuse material (child pornography) were seized during the operation for further investigation and as exhibits.
The first arrest was effected in Rietfontein, Pretoria on 10 February 2020. The 30-year-old man, living with his parents, has appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court and he has been granted bail. His case was postponed to 12 March 2020.
The second man aged 42, was also arrested on the 10th in Claremont, Pretoria. He is a married father of three. He has also appeared in court and his case was postponed to 28 February 2020.
On the 11th of February 2020, the team detained a third man aged 62. He is a married pensioner who owns a day care centre which is managed by his wife. He appeared at the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court and his case was remanded to the 17th of February 2020.
On the 13th of February 2020, the fourth man aged 42 was arrested in Daspoort, Pretoria where he lives with his parents. He has also appeared in court and he will appear again on 8 April 2020.
The last and fifth man was arrested in Kempton Park. He is 34 years of age. He has a previous conviction of rape and sexual assault to which he received a five year suspended sentence that will end on 15 March 2020. He will be appearing in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 17 February 2020.
Another search warrant was executed in Garsfontein, Pretoria. The suspect was not arrested as there was no material found in his premises but his electronic equipment was seized for further investigation. The suspect has a pending 2012 case of possession of child pornography and bestiality due for judgement on 20 April 2020.
All the accused that have already appeared in court have been granted bail of R5000. They cannot be named as the police are still conducting thorough investigations and cannot rule out the possibility that some of the children on the material that has been confiscated might be South African and therefore their identity has to be protected.
These kind of operations are continuing countrywide and the Divisional Commissioner of Detective Services, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili has applauded the collaboration of various units and commended the team for the arrests. “The ground work has been done, ours is to now ensure that these alleged sexual predators are convicted and given the harshest sentences, and to continue educating parents and caregivers on the dangers of not monitoring their children’s activities on the internet and social media,” said Lt Gen Mosikili.
We are appealing to parents to exercise strict measures to ensure their children do not fall prey to sexual predators lurking on the net. It is recommended that parents supervise their children’s access to the internet and social media. It is pertinent for parents to also note that WhatsApp and Facebook have age restrictions of 13 years within their respective terms of services which prohibits children under 13 years from utilising WhatsApp and Facebook.
Anyone who has any information on crime perpetrated against women and children is encouraged to break the silence by calling the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111 or sending a tip-off on MySAPSApp and all information received will be treated with strictest confidence.