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SA man who killed ex-girlfriend and fled country seven years ago nabbed in Brazil

19 June 2020 - 22:08 By Naledi Shange
Gerhard Jansen Van Vuuren who murdered his ex-girlfriend in South Africa in 2011 has finally been nabbed in Brazil.
Gerhard Jansen Van Vuuren who murdered his ex-girlfriend in South Africa in 2011 has finally been nabbed in Brazil.

Police on Friday confirmed that a man who fled SA seven years ago after skipping trial for the murder of his former girlfriend has been nabbed in Brazil.

Brig Vish Naidoo said 39-year-old Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren was arrested in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

“The case involving the SA-born murder fugitive dates back to December 2011 when he allegedly stabbed his then 25-year-old ex-girlfriend, Andrea Venter, to death. The incident happened outside the deceased’s residential complex in Johannesburg, Gauteng,” Naidoo said in a statement.

“After a failed suicide attempt at the scene of crime, Jansen Van Vuuren was charged with the murder of Venter before the Randburg magistrate's court. He was later granted bail in the Johannesburg high court after the SAPS successfully opposed bail twice before the Randburg magistrate's court. Four days before the start of his murder trial in May 2013, Jansen Van Vuuren fled the country using false documentation.”

Naidoo said Interpol had been roped in to assist in tracing him.

Eventually, the long arm of the law caught up with him in Brazil but this was for a separate crime. Jansen van Vuuren was jailed in Brazil in August 2013 for possession of false documentation. He served two years behind bars and was released.

“Since then, Interpol Pretoria had been in contact with Brazilian authorities to locate him. Several years later, the investigating team's collaborative efforts has now culminated with the arrest of the murder fugitive at an identified address in Brazil,” said Naidoo.

Police commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla Sitole hailed Jansen van Vuuren’s recapture and imminent repatriation to SA as a success for authorities.

“This teams efforts in tracking down this suspect after many years of him being on the run should be commended by all. A lesson should also be drawn from this case and send out a stern warning to all who commit crimes against women and children, that the long arm of the law is bound to catch you,” Sitole said.

“Our focus remains on extraditing him back into the country to stand trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend with the intention of bringing closure to the family and friends of the deceased”, he added.

Van Vuuren would reportedly be kept a prison in Brazil until the country’s supreme court of appeal approves his extradition.