Trial date set for Paul Kennedy’s child sex ring co-accused

The case involving the deceased Paul Kennedy (a highly placed senior advocate and acting judge in South African courts), who was slapped with more than 700 charges for allegedly running and orchestrating an alleged child sex ring with his co-accused, is on track for the start of its pre-trial and trial.

Kennedy – who was on the counsel at the state capture commission that was chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo – was accused of being a paedophile, a child-molester and a serial rapist, facing several charges related to a covered-up sex child ring before his death in February this year.

Kennedy committed suicide after more and more victims came to forward, bringing his alleged illicit activities to light.

Kennedy’s 53-year-old co-accused (the owner of a massage parlour in Sandton) today appeared in the South Gauteng High Court to hear when the start date for the trial would be set, after a new amendment was drawn up following Kennedy’s death.

He has been out on bail since the charges first came to the fore in 2021, but cannot yet be named due not having pleaded.

ALSO READ: Paul Kennedy’s co-accused facing 735 charges of rape, human trafficking

Court waits for two more cases to be centralised

State Advocate for the case, Valencia Dube, submitted that the date for the start of the trial be set for 16 January 2023, as the court awaited the centralisation of two more cases.

The cases were to come in from the Western Cape and Scottsburg in KwaZulu-Natal, where the co-accused was charged with molesting two more minors. Adv Dube said that they were in the process of locating the docket.

The date proposed was accepted by Judge Ismail.

Given the volume of the charges against the man (amounting to more than 730), he was also given leave to seek assistance from judicare, but was only given a week to do this and was to return to court on 6 September.

Judge Ismail sent a strong directive that the administrative arrangements around the case be stepped up and he urged counsel to get their ducks in a row to prevent the delay of justice any longer.

The co-accused is ocurrently ]ut on bail.

WMACA happy to see greater urgency

Members from the Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) advocacy group also arrived at court to hear the outcome of the man’s appearance.

The group stated that it vehemently opposed the fact that the co-accused in this matter remained out on bail and watched attentively as he briskly walked out the courtroom following his appearance.

WMACA’s Miranda Friedman said that they were pleased to see Judge Ismail urging the counsel to step up the pace to see the start of the pre-trial and trial, and they were eager to see the perpetators in the case brought to book.

“There are a number of victims who are awaiting justice. We are pleased that the Judge has shown a sense of urgency and is not dragging this case,” she said.

Potentially the biggest child sex ring in SA

“This is a massive case – probably revealing one of the biggest child sex rings the country has seen – and we want to start seeing the naming of clients who were procuring services from the perpetrators.

We managed to find the co-accused as he appeared to be one of Kennedy’s clients, so in the same way, we should now be able to track down and find the others. They also need to be charged and brought to book,” she added.

NOW READ: Rape, sex traffic case against Paul Kennedy’s co-accused ongoing

Charges of rape and compelled rape

Advocate Kennedy, together with his co-accused, were facing 731 charges relating to raping young boys, human trafficking, as well as unlawful possession, creation and importing/ or exporting, and distribution of child pornography.

According to the court roll, some of the charges listed against the co-accused were four counts of possession of child pornography, four counts of procuring of child pornography, four counts of trafficking in persons, five counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual grooming and two counts of compelled rape, amongst others.

The co-accused has been left to face the music alone after Kennedy – who realized he was facing inevitable disgrace – committed suicide at his Johannesburg home, a week before he was meant to return to court, to determine whether charges of attempted murder would be added after one of his alleged victims tested positive for HIV.

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