Activists seek justice for 'child sex abuse victims' of advocate, co-accused
Senior Joburg advocate Paul Kennedy found dead at his home on Monday
Women & Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) hopes the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will ensure that children allegedly sexually abused by a senior Johannesburg advocate, who died this week, and his co-accused get justice.
Paul Kennedy was found dead at his home on Monday.
He and a co-accused, who cannot be named as he has not yet pleaded to the charges, were due to appear in the high court in Johannesburg next Monday on 735 counts that include sexual grooming of children, human trafficking, procuring child pornography, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of children and rape.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said: “We can confirm that police have opened an inquest docket for investigation after the body of a 63-year-old man was found in a house in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.”
Johannesburg Society of Advocates chairperson Christiaan van der Merwe SC said Kennedy resigned from the bar last year after the charges were instituted.
The NPA has declined to comment until a copy of his death certificate is presented in court.
WMACA spokesperson Ngaa Murombedzi said Kennedy’s co-accused is also facing sexual assault charges at the Wynberg magistrate’s court. The case has been postponed 18 times while the accused has remained out on bail.
Murombedzi said of the 735 charges Kennedy and his co-accused faced, the latter faced at least 600 of them.
“We are hoping that regardless of fact that [Kennedy} is deceased, the state is left with a responsibility that these children get justice and to consolidate all the cases where [Kennedy’s co-accused] is involved.”
She said Kennedy’s co-accused faced similar charges and was released on bail.
Murombedzi said a 2018 case before the Alexandra magistrate’s court was related to an incident at a country club in Johannesburg at that time.
It is alleged the man forced a boy to assist him with his pants at the club toilets, as he had a sling on one arm. The boy was allegedly forced to touch the man’s penis.
While on bail in relation to the case in the Alexandra court, he was then arrested with Kennedy last year in connection with the new case.
The indictment states Kennedy’s co-accused faces 639 counts of unlawful possession of child pornography.
It alleged the man, aged 53, had in his possession a cellphone which contained 253 videos of child pornography. The indictment also alleges the man had a laptop containing 382 images of child pornography.
He is facing several counts of sexual grooming of children.
Kennedy faced 25 counts of being in possession of child pornography.
Both men faced counts of human trafficking, benefiting from the services of a child victim of trafficking, rape and sexual assault.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.