The U.S. Embassy in South Africa, through the office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), presented $9,000 in restitution (approximately 125,000 Rand) to a South African victim of crime at a ceremony in Pretoria on December 6. The crime victim’s name is being withheld due to privacy considerations. Major General T.C Mosikili, National Head of the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offence section in the Detective Service attended the ceremony, as well as Major General M. Motsepe, the Provincial Head of the same division.
On September 30, 2015, pursuant to a joint child pornography investigation involving HSI officials in Pretoria and the U.S., along with the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit, SAPS arrested South African citizen Warren Troy Knoop. On February 10, 2017, Knoop was sentenced in the high court in Johannesburg to 32 life sentences plus 170 years after pleading guilty to 870 charges. HSI Pretoria provided computer forensics and affidavits for court, laying the foundation for evidence in the case against Knoop.
The restitution funds provided by the U.S. Department of Justice are a portion of funds seized from one of Knoop’s co-conspirators in the United States following his arrest and sentencing. The victim’s family is placing them in a trust fund account that she may access when she reaches the age of 18.
Speaking at the ceremony, HSI Regional Attaché Steve Martin said, “This represents the first-ever restitution of its kind in South Africa. It is the result of remarkable cooperation between South Africans and Americans who recognize the need for cooperation to address cross-border criminal activity. We appreciate South African law enforcement officials’ support of this case, which brought justice to a young victim. This is one of many areas in which the U.S. and South African law enforcement services work together to protect rule of law, combat criminal threats, and ensure the safety and security of citizens in both countries.”