Former Mayor in court on child porn charges

Simon Mofokeng, former mayor of Vanderbijlpark appearing in court. Photo: Jannie du Plessis

 
Craig Kotze

VANDERBIJLPARK. – Former Emfuleni Executive Mayor Simon Mofokeng voluntarily handed himself in to police and appeared in a Vanderbijlpark court last week on charges relating to possession of child pornography allegedly involving a 14-year old schoolgirl.

He was not asked to plead and was released on bail of R10 000. The matter was postponed until March 20 for further investigation, said his lawyer Jaco van Heerden, of the firm BMH in Vereeniging.

“The charges are not finalised but relate to possession of child pornography. We will let the State finalise its investigation and then arrange a trial date,” van Heerden said on inquiry by Mooivaal Media.

He added he had not yet seen the Police docket on the case. Mooivaal media has learnt the case is not being investigated by local Police, but by a specialised unit at Provincial level.

The former mayor’s appearance follows him handing himself over in the presence of his lawyer to police and the State did not oppose bail.

According to van Heerden, a previous protection order issued last year prior to his court appearance was still in force preventing him from having any contact whatsoever with the minor girl. The matter – then seen as a sexual grooming case – exploded into the public arena last year after a WhatsApp message containing a photo of a scantily-clad schoolgirl was sent from Mofokeng’s mobile phone to a group of about 500 political opponents within the ANC.

At the time the matter aroused fears of a State Security Agency discreditation or smear campaign as Mofokeng was a key ally in the Gauteng ANC of then Presidential-hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa and his CR17 campaign for leadership of the ANC nationally.But following public protests and marches by Emfuleni ANC members, Mofokeng resigned as Executive Mayor but continued in his political role within the ANC.But the case seems to have snowballed since then from an on-line sexual grooming of a minor to possession of child pornography, apparently of the same 14-year-old girl.

A Gauteng Province police spokesperson refused to confirm or deny whether more children were involved or whether police had seized Mofokeng’s mobile phone. Van Heerden also declined to comment on this aspect.

 

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