Alleged murder fugitive to be extradited from Brazil to SA today


A man who absconded from South Africa to avoid standing trial for the alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2011 is due to be extradited back into South Africa tomorrow.

Gerard Jansen Van Vuuren, 39, was due to face trial in 2013 after he allegedly stabbed his then 25-year-old ex-girlfriend, Andrea Venter, to death in December 2011.

The incident happened outside the deceased’s residential complex in Johannesburg.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, Van Vuuren allegedly attempted suicide at the scene of crime before being charged with the murder of Venter in 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, Van Vuuren fled the country using false travel documentation.

“Subsequent to this, a warrant of arrest was issued by Interpol 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.

“For a number of years, Interpol Pretoria had been in contact with Brazilian authorities to locate him. In June 2020, the investigating teams collaborative efforts culminated with the arrest of the murder fugitive at an identified address in Brazil,” said Naidoo.

He had been kept in police custody at a public prison in Rio De Jainero, Brazil, since his arrest.

The murder fugitive is set to land at the OR Tambo International Airport at 1pm, alongside the investigating team from Interpol who were involved in tracing and tracking him down.

General Khehla Sitole, National Commissioner of the SAPS, said: “This is a culmination of hard work and the relentless efforts of our law enforcement officers including the Investigative Psychology Section (IPS) within the SAPS, Interpol Pretoria, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Brazilian Federal Police. 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.”

-The Citizen

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