Child prostitution convict faces sentencing

Windhoek: A Swakopmund resident, who was found guilty in June on charges of trafficking children for sexual exploitation, will be sentenced next Monday in the High Court in Windhoek.

Johanna Lukas was convicted in June by Judge President PetrusDamaseb on four counts of trafficking in persons and four counts of rape, under coercive circumstances, in respect of one complainant, and another count of trafficking in persons and rape without coercive circumstances.

In respect of a second complainant the State charged her after it came to light she recruited underage children for sex with a South African citizen, who worked for Rössing Uranium in Swakopmund during the period April and May 2012.

The culprit, Marthinus Pretorius, evaded arrest and is believed to be in his native South Africa.Evidence presented during the trial showed that Lukas recruited three minor girls at Swakopmund during April, May and June 2012 to be sexually exploited by Pretorius, who reportedly worked as a contractor at the Trekkopje mine.

Two of the girls were primary school pupils, aged 13 and 14, at the time of the incidents.The prosecution alleged Lukas had allowed Pretorius to rape the girls on several occasions during June 2012. Pretorius absconded at the time of Lukas’ arrest.

While testifying in mitigation of her sentence in June, Lukas admitted to Damaseb that a fellow inmate impregnated her while they were awaiting trial. This reportedly happened in the police holding cells at Narraville in Walvis Bay.

She however declined to name the father of her youngest child, saying she feared for her life.She only told Damaseb the man who made her pregnant was a fellow inmate.New Era reported extensively on Lukas’ pregnancy while she was in police custody.

She also told the court she first got pregnant at the age of 18, while upgrading her Grade 10 marks through Namcol.Her first child was born on September 9, 2010 and lives with his grandmother in the north, while her second son was born on November 11, 2011 and is being raised by her mother in Swakopmund.

Her third child was born in custody on August 20 last year and also lives with Lukas’ mother. Lukas was remanded in custody.

Gwen Nelwembe, a Zambian national who was initially charged alongside Lukas on multiple charges of human trafficking and supplying young girls to Pretorius, was released without charge at the start of the trial in March this year.