Mother of girl sent photos to US man Wo­man turns to court to stop neigh­bours’


Fthe age of 11, the girl was al­legedly forced to pose and per­form sex­ual acts so her mother could take pho­to­graphs and send them to a man in the US.

Three years later, the teenager, who is now 14, and her 11-year-old brother are in a place of safety fol­low­ing a dra­matic in­ter­na­tional man­hunt that started in North Carolina in the US and ended in the small town of Vre­den­burg in the Western Cape.

When the SAPS’s Fam­ily Vi­o­lence and Child Pro­tec­tion Unit raided the premises in Vre­den­burg last week they were shocked by what they found.

It was the first time, they said, that they had ar­rested a mother al­legedly in­volved in the sex­ual as­sault of her child.

This week the girl’s par­ents, who can’t be named be­cause of the sex­ual na­ture of the crime and her age, will be back in court as they ap­ply for bail.

The cou­ple are each fac­ing 10 charges re­lat­ing to rape, sex­ual as­sault and the man­u­fac­ture of child pornog­ra­phy.

The search for the girl started when Lieu­tenant-Colonel Heila Nie­mand, the com­man­der of the Gaut­eng Fam­ily Vi­o­lence and Child Pro­tec­tion Unit, was ap­proached by mem­bers of the Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment based at the US em­bassy in Pre­to­ria.

They in­formed her that a man had been ar­rested in Catawba County in North Carolina with child por nog­ra­phy on his cell­phone. When the North Carolina State Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion foren­si­cally in­ves­ti­gated the phone they dis­cov­ered he had paid for the pic­tures. They were able to track the pay­ments to South Africa. “He was us­ing wire trans­fers to send the money,” said Nie­mand.

The sus­pect, she said, was alle gedly us­ing Face­book and What­sApp to com­mu­ni­cate with the girl and her fam­ily.

US au­thor­i­ties, she said, ini­tially tracked the money trans­fers to an ad­dress in Port El­iz­a­beth, but when po­lice vis­ited the premises they dis-


cov­ered the fam­ily had moved. The hunt then moved to Gaut­eng but again po­lice dis­cov­ered the fam­ily were no longer liv­ing there.

Then, the po­lice got lucky, Nie­mand said. De­tec­tives ob­tained an ad­dress in Vre­den­burg.

On Fe­bru­ary 14, the po­lice swooped and found the fam­ily.

Nie­mand was able to piece to­gether how the al­leged crime un­folded. “He first be­friended the child send­ing her mes­sages. Then the mother jumped on to the band­wagon want­ing pay­ment. He would send mes­sages ask­ing for spe­cific po­si­tions he wanted the girl to be pho­tographed in.”

Po­lice be­lieve the mother had been al­legedly send­ing pho­to­graphs of her daugh­ter for three years. “They told us they did it be­cause they are un­em­ployed and needed to buy food.”

The girl, Nie­mand added, had be­lieved the man in the US was plan­ning to marry her.

Po­lice were sur­prised that the mother had no prior crim­i­nal record re­lated to child pornog­ra­phy.

The Vre­den­burg ar­rests are just the lat­est in a num­ber of high-pro- file child sex crimes that have rocked South Africa.

On Tues­day, the Metro po­lice and SAPS raided a brothel in Kemp­ton Park in Ekurhu­leni. They found teenagers, some as young as 15 years old who were be­lieved to be work­ing as sex­work­ers. The teenagers were al­legedly lured to the premises with prom­ises of em­ploy­ment and op­por­tu­ni­ties to study fur­ther.

Next month, 33-year-old Jayde Shel­don Bai­ley is to be sen­tenced in the Port El­iz­a­beth Mag­is­trate’s Court af­ter it was dis­cov­ered he was part of an in­ter­na­tional child pornog­ra­phy ring called the “gi­ga­tribe” that shared im­ages among one an­other.

Bai­ley, the fa­ther of 15-mon­thold twin daugh­ters, and his wife are al­leged to have dis­trib­uted footage of rape, tor­ture, and the mur­der of ba­bies, in­clud­ing new­borns.

They are charged with im­port­ing, pos­ses­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion of films that en­cour­age or pro­mote child pornog­ra­phy or the sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of chil­dren.

This in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­volved the SAPS, the FBI and Bel­gian po­lice. COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! The early morn­ing crow­ing of roost­ers and other noises from the neigh­bour­ing prop­erty was such tor­ture that a Midrand wo­man has gone to court.

Anelle van Bu­uren turned to the high court in Pre­to­ria to in­ter­dict her neigh­bours, Sad­hasee­lan and Sarash­nee Goven­der, over the noise caused by their menagerie of roost­ers, geese and a turkey.

De­scrib­ing it as noise pol­lu­tion, she said she had tried ev­ery­thing to stop the noise, which car­ried on all day. “I ap­proached them on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, I ap­proached the SPCA, the City of Joburg and the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Author­ity,” she told the court.

In court pa­pers she said: “All my at­tempts to re­solve this have come to naught.”

She said the Goven­ders had moved in next door to her in 2013 and set up a pen for poul­try on the boundary wall with her prop­erty. But, she said, it was close to her bed­room which faced the wall. Her neigh­bours then packed in a va­ri­ety of poul­try, in­clud­ing roost­ers, chick­ens, geese, pea­cocks and a turkey. “Need­less to say, they caused a lot of noise.

“The roost­ers crowed at dusk, through­out the night and into the early morn­ing. The pea­cocks and hens called reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially at dusk and dawn.

“The turkey gobbles all hours of the day and night,” she said.

Van Bu­uren said the noise had se­ri­ously af­fected her con­ve­nience and peace as she was awo­ken at night and early in the morn­ing.

“I ini­tially tol­er­ated the noise, think­ing the an­i­mals would set­tle down. Af­ter sev­eral months of con­tin­u­ous noise, in­ter­rupted sleep and in­creas­ing ill health I re­alised they were not go­ing to set­tle down.”

Van Bu­uren said she had spo­ken to the Goven­ders and they had moved the pen slightly back from the boundary wall.

But while this perked her up, the prospect of sleep was short-lived, and the noise con­tin­ued.

Van Bu­uren even­tu­ally con­tacted the Gaut­eng Health Depart­ment and of­fi­cials paid the Goven­ders a visit.

She was told by the of­fi­cials that the area was zoned agri­cul­tural and the noise was rea­son­able un­der the cir­cum­stances.

The Goven­ders moved the pen fur­ther from the wall and got rid of some of the roost­ers. This helped, Van Bu­uren said, as there was less crow­ing but the noise con­tin­ued.

She said she could no longer han­dle the sleep de­pri­va­tion. But Sarash­nee Goven­der said she had ad­hered to all calls to move the pen, yet her neigh­bour con­tin­ued to com­plain.

Judge Pierre Ra­bie did not make an or­der re­gard­ing the in­ter­dict at this stage and sim­ply or­dered the Goven­ders to pay Van Bu­uren’s le­gal costs for the ap­pli­ca­tion.

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