Rootless boys receive spoils of child-sex farmer’s pay-off

Rootless boys receive spoils of child-sex farmer’s pay-off

THE case in which an Omaheke Region farmer was accused – and eventually convicted – of having a string of sexual encounters with homeless teenage boys at Gobabis made what should be its final appearance in the High Court in Windhoek this week.

Farmer Abraham Roux shot himself in the head at his farm, Vierpanne, north of Gobabis on January 28. The previous day, the 71-year-old Roux had been convicted in the High Court on two counts of rape under the Combating of Rape Act, four counts of soliciting or enticing a child under the age of 16 years to commit a sexual act, and one charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice.Roux’s trial before Judge Kato van Niekerk, involving neglected and destitute teenage children and an ailing old man as the main figures in the matter, had produced some of the saddest and most sordid tales to have been heard in the High Court in recent times.Since Roux’s death, the children’s lives have, if anything, only continued along a downward spiral, it appeared when the case returned to court on Wednesday.The case was back in court so that Judge Van Niekerk could decide what should be done with a list of items – including cash, clothes, shoes and four bicycles – that had been evidence before the court during the trial.The court had heard during the trial – most of this, if not all, was admitted by Roux himself – that he had had sexual encounters with a number of young boys at Gobabis between 2000 and early April 2004.According to Roux, this happened after the boys had suggested to him that they could perform sexual acts with him against payment.Due to the power of sexual urges, he gave in to the temptation, initially paying the boys N$10 or N$20 after each of these encounters and gradually increasing the payments as they started demanding more money, he claimed.Roux was arrested on April 6 2004, shortly after he had paid N$30 000 to five boys in a futile bid to persuade them not to report the events that had been taking place.Having received the cash, the boys went on a shopping spree, spending most of that money.It was the remainder of the money and the items the boys bought with the rest of the cash – four bicycles, clothes, shoes and a duvet – that was at stake in the hearing before Judge Van Niekerk this week.One of the boys was not back in court, though.He has died in the meantime.He was allegedly stabbed to death by one of the other boys involved in the case.That boy, at the age of 14 now in custody on a charge of murder, was one of four boys who testified before Judge Van Niekerk on Wednesday to tell the court what he had bought with the money that he received from Roux.He bought a bicycle and a pair of shoes, he told the Judge.He was barefoot in court.Still small in stature at his young age, amateur tattoos already cover part of the arms of this boy.Another of the boys appeared before the Judge dressed in the green uniform worn by sentenced inmates in Namibia’s prisons.He has in the meantime been sent to prison for rape.He never went to school, this boy told the Judge.Having been given N$6 000 by Roux, he bought himself a bicycle, clothes, a pair of shoes and a duvet, he told the court.He asked that the money and the things he had bought should be returned to him.Another of the boys, who said he was 16 years old, is also in custody on a pending charge.He said he had bought a bicycle, clothes and a pair of shoes with the N$6 000 that Roux had given him.The fourth boy is the only one not locked up in a prison cell at the moment.He told the Judge he is now 15, but did not know his birth date.He has been working on a part-time basis at a funeral undertaker at Gobabis for the last four years, he said.According to him, his work is to wash dead bodies.He bought a bicycle and clothes with money that he received from Roux, he said.He, too, asked the court to return to him the money and things that he had bought.The money that the Police confiscated from the children – N$8 100 in all – and that has been proven to have been part of the cash doled out by Roux, was declared forfeited to the State by Judge Van Niekerk.This money fell under the Criminal Procedure Act’s definition of an article that was used to commit an offence, being an attempt to obstruct the course of justice, she said.The things bought with the money, however, fell in a different category.These items, as well as one N$50 note not proven to have been part of Roux’s money, have to be returned to the boys, the Judge ordered.The previous day, the 71-year-old Roux had been convicted in the High Court on two counts of rape under the Combating of Rape Act, four counts of soliciting or enticing a child under the age of 16 years to commit a sexual act, and one charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice.Roux’s trial before Judge Kato van Niekerk, involving neglected and destitute teenage children and an ailing old man as the main figures in the matter, had produced some of the saddest and most sordid tales to have been heard in the High Court in recent times.Since Roux’s death, the children’s lives have, if anything, only continued along a downward spiral, it appeared when the case returned to court on Wednesday.The case was back in court so that Judge Van Niekerk could decide what should be done with a list of items – including cash, clothes, shoes and four bicycles – that had been evidence before the court during the trial.The court had heard during the trial – most of this, if not all, was admitted by Roux himself – that he had had sexual encounters with a number of young boys at Gobabis between 2000 and early April 2004.According to Roux, this happened after the boys had suggested to him that they could perform sexual acts with him against payment. Due to the power of sexual urges, he gave in to the temptation, initially paying the boys N$10 or N$20 after each of these encounters and gradually increasing the payments as they started demanding more money, he claimed.Roux was arrested on April 6 2004, shortly after he had paid N$30 000 to five boys in a futile bid to persuade them not to report the events that had been taking place.Having received the cash, the boys went on a shopping spree, spending most of that money.It was the remainder of the money and the items the boys bought with the rest of the cash – four bicycles, clothes, shoes and a duvet – that was at stake in the hearing before Judge Van Niekerk this week.One of the boys was not back in court, though.He has died in the meantime.He was allegedly stabbed to death by one of the other boys involved in the case.That boy, at the age of 14 now in custody on a charge of murder, was one of four boys who testified before Judge Van Niekerk on Wednesday to tell the court what he had bought with the money that he received from Roux.He bought a bicycle and a pair of shoes, he told the Judge.He was barefoot in court.Still small in stature at his young age, amateur tattoos already cover part of the arms of this boy.Another of the boys appeared before the Judge dressed in the green uniform worn by sentenced inmates in Namibia’s prisons.He has in the meantime been sent to prison for rape.He never went to school, this boy told the Judge.Having been given N$6 000 by Roux, he bought himself a bicycle, clothes, a pair of shoes and a duvet, he told the court.He asked that the money and the things he had bought should be returned to him.Another of the boys, who said he was 16 years old, is also in custody on a pending charge.He said he had bought a bicycle, clothes and a pair of shoes with the N$6 000 that Roux had given him.The fourth boy is the only one not locked up in a prison cell at the moment.He told the Judge he is now 15, but did not know his birth date.He has been working on a part-time basis at a funeral undertaker at Gobabis for the last four years, he said.According to him, his work is to wash dead bodies.He bought a bicycle and clothes with money that he received from Roux, he said.He, too, asked the court to return to him the money and things that he had bought.The money that the Police confiscated from the children – N$8 100 in all – and that has been proven to have been part of the cash doled out by Roux, was declared forfeited to the State by Judge Van Niekerk.This money fell under the Criminal Procedure Act’s definition of an article that was used to commit an offence, being an attempt to obstruct the course of justice, she said.The things bought with the money, however, fell in a different category.These items, as well as one N$50 note not proven to have been part of Roux’s money, have to be returned to the boys, the Judge ordered.

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