A South African national who is accused of sex trafficking has been denied bail in the Outapi Magistrate’s Court.
Magistrate Eden Amutenya denied Karner Kenneth’s bail application yesterday, saying allegations against the accused, including of taking nude photographs of teenage girls, bordered on child pornography and a serious abuse of minors.
Amutenya said the State led prima facie evidence indicating that the accused held two minors in his custody for ten days and allegedly travelled with them to various places.
“These are very serious offences which attract heavy terms of imprisonment should the person be convicted and that in my view the applicant has not discharged the onus on him that he is a good candidate for bail. Application is dismissed and the accused remanded in custody,” he ruled.
Kenneth (66) faces charges of human trafficking and contravening the Combatting of Immoral Practices Act.
In his bail application the accused stated he was not a flight risk, while he also cited ill-health, which he said has worsened since the Covid-19 pandemic, to be considered for release.
The magistrate, however, ruled that the accused never produced any evidence of his medical condition during the bail application.
“The evidence was belatedly produced through respondent witnesses. This, however, does not mean that this should be held against the applicant,” he added.
He said the court would duly consider that as it was placed before the court and in any event, the rules of evidence are not strictly adhered to in bail applications.
The accused had informed the court that he suffers from high blood pressure, neurology, diabetes and liver problems.
But the magistrate also dismissed the argument by the accused that he was experiencing financial loss because of his continued incarceration. “No evidence was led as to how the business would suffer and why it is only him who can maintain it despite having employees and a manager,” Amutenya added. The matter was postponed to 3 September for trial.
2020-08-04 08:46:26 1 months ago