Pretoria – One of South Africa’s most wanted fugitives, murder suspect Gerhardus Jansen van Vuuren, who fled the country to avoid standing trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2011, was due to be extradited on Friday, police said.
Jansen van Vuuren, 39, was due to face trial in 2013 after he allegedly beat and stabbed his 25-year-old ex-girlfriend, Andrea Venter, to death in December 2011 outside the residential complex in Johannesburg where she lived, SAPS spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.
Venter was Rustenburg’s first test-tube baby, a miracle that her parents had waited 13 years for. Jansen van Vuuren allegedly stalked, punched and stabbed her in front of neighbours and security guards at the gated estate.
After a failed suicide attempt at the scene of the crime in 2011, Jansen van Vuuren was charged with Venter’s murder at 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 travel documentation,” said Naidoo.
“Subsequent to this, a warrant of arrest was issued by Interpol (in) Pretoria wherein a process to trace and track him down was expedited. He was later arrested by Brazilian authorities in August 2013 on a charge of false documentation and regrettably released in 2015 after serving a sentence for this crime.”
Naidoo said for a number of years, Interpol in Pretoria had been in contact with Brazilian authorities to locate Jansen van Vuuren.
“In June 2020, the investigating teams’ collaborative efforts culminated in the arrest of the fugitive at an identified address in Brazil. He had been kept in police custody at a public prison in Rio De Jainero, Brazil since his arrest,” he said.
“The fugitive is set to land at OR Tambo International Airport at 1pm alongside the investigating team from Interpol who were involved in tracing and tracking him down.”
SAPS commissioner General Khehla Sitole applauded all the work done in the pursuit of Jansen van Vuuren.
“This is a culmination of hard work and the relentless efforts of our law enforcement officers, including the investigative psychology section within the SAPS, Interpol Pretoria, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Brazilian federal police,” Sitole said.
“This is indeed victory for us as a service. Thank you to the team who didn’t give up, even after years of hard work. Our focus is to bring closure to the family and friends of the deceased, as well as to ensure that justice is served.”
African News Agency (ANA)