Western Cape man arrested on child pornography charges to remain in bars until next month

An alleged child sexual predator is to remain behind bars. Picture: Pixabay

An alleged child sexual predator is to remain behind bars. Picture: Pixabay

Published Jan 26, 2024


The bail application of an alleged child sexual predator in the Western Cape has been adjourned until February 2.

Garth van West, 53, will remain behind bars until then.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that both the State and the defence had testified on Thursday and Friday, where the matter was heard in the Worcester Magistrate’s Court.

NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said State Prosecutor Sonja Mathee had called two witnesses on Thursday - Warrant Officer Barnard and Captain Van der Heever - to testify, opposing the bail application.

“On Friday morning, the defence started with the case and closed it.

“Mathee started with her arguments, where she informed the court that it was not in the interests of justice to grant the accused bail.

“She provided the presiding officer with relevant case law and all the legislative changes over the years, which showed how serious the issue against the accused was.”

Ntabazalila said that following strong, convincing arguments, the defence requested a postponement for an opportunity to prepare its arguments.

Van West was arrested on January 17. At the time of his arrest, national police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said he was allegedly found with 95,000 images and 6,000 videos of child pornography.

Police said he faces a charge of accessing, distributing, and possessing child pornography.

Outside court, organisations, including the Department of Social Development protested, holding placards demanding the court not grant Van West bail.

Two other Western Cape men also arrested on child pornography charges will line up in the dock early next week as they bid for bail.

Corné van Rooyen, 40, from Kraaifontein, and Shannon Manuel, 32, from Mitchells Plain, were arrested in a joint operation by the SAPS Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) unit and the American Homeland Security Department.

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