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KZN Dad Faces 300 Counts Of Child Porn Possession

KZN Dad Faces 300 Counts Of Child Porn Possession

A man from the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is facing a string of charges in connection with his alleged involvement in an international child pornography ring.
The 39-year-old professional diver, who is out on bail, stands accused of almost 300 counts of possession of child pornography as well as sexually assaulting one of his two daughters and using both of them for child pornography.

The man – who cannot be named in order to protect his children, who are just 3 and 5 years old – appeared briefly in the Port Shepstone Regional Court on Monday.

The case was remanded until later this month.

Police officers from the newly formed serial and electronic crimes investigation unit – operating within the Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit – arrested him last June.

This came after police in the United Kingdom arrested a man there on similar charges and linked the two.

They alerted local police, who swooped on the man in South Africa.

A total of 277 explicit images of children, aged between 3 and 15 years old, were allegedly found on the man’s computer and on his cellphone.

And 25 explicit images of his own children, as well as seven images of him touching one of them inappropriately, were allegedly discovered.

The man has subsequently been linked to other suspects in Australia and the US.

It is believed they were communicating via social media.

It is understood that after he was arrested, the man’s former partner – a woman from South-East Asia – returned to her home country with their children.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the man’s arrest had come after an intensive investigation, adding that crimes against women and children were a priority for police.

A number of child pornography cases have made headlines in KZN over the last year.

In November, 30-year-old Karl Kiloh, from Glenwood, was sentenced to five years in jail for 48 counts of creating child pornography and 48 counts of possession of child pornography.

And, a month later, three men were arrested on charges relating to their involvement in a child pornography ring operating in and around the greater Durban area.

Their case is still before the courts.

Former Childline head and now a consultant on child rights and child protection Joan van Niekerk on Monday emphasised that child pornography was not a victimless crime.

“In order for these images to be created, the abuse of a child has to take place,” she said.

This was why there was a shift from using the term “child pornography” to using the term “child sex abuse images”.

“It underlines the seriousness of it,” she said.

Van Niekerk said that in terms of the impact on the children involved, there was obviously the impact of the abuse itself.

“A 5-year-old will probably retain a clearer memory. At that age, children are not always overly traumatised but, as they get older, they might begin to feel the traumatisation,” she said, “And the same could be for a 3-year-old.”

But, Van Niekerk added, another problem was that once images were on the internet, they would remain there forever.

“Sometimes children feel enormous shame that this was put out there.

“When they get older, it will be very traumatic for them to know there are images of them in compromising situations that are on the web somewhere and that someone has used that for his or her own sexual gratification,” she said.

To this end, Van Niekerk said, the South African Law Reform Commission was looking into what happened to this kind of material once it was discovered.

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