The man who fled seven years ago shortly before being tried on a charge of smashing his ex-girlfriend with a knuckle duster and then stabbed her 14 times with a knife has been arrested in Brazil on Thursday.
Gerhard Jansen van Vuuren, now 39, will be released to South Africa as soon as the documentation and challenges of the country’s Covid-19 state of containment regulations are dealt with.
Meanwhile, he remains in custody in a Brazilian jail.
This murder suspect is accused of first “chasing” Andrea Venter, then 25, on May 2, 2011, by calling more than 30 auditing firms in the Johannesburg area to track her down.
That was after she accepted an accountant job in Fourways, Gauteng, apparently to get away from him.
According to reports, he overpowered her in her apartment that day and struck her with an iron fist which resulted in her hair covered in blood.
Venter allegedly ran out of the apartment to the security guard at the entrance. Jansen van Vuuren apparently followed her, threatened the guard with a knife and then stabbed Venter several times with a knife. He then apparently cut his own throat and collapsed next to her.
So the police found them.
Jansen van Vuuren was subsequently detained for months before the Johannesburg High Court granted him a bail of R15 000.
He fled four days before the trial in May 2013.
The following year, he was arrested in Brazil for possession of forged identity documents and for trying to bribe a policeman. He was sentenced to four years and four months in prison.
Although South Africa brought an extradition application for the fugitive, Jansen van Vuuren was released from Brazilian prison last year and disappeared.
Brig. Earlier in the year, Vishnu Naidoo, spokesperson for Interpol in South Africa, said there was still a warrant for his arrest and he was on Interpol’s Red List of Most Wanted.
According to sources, the South African investigation team was relentless in their search for the fugitive Jansen van Vuuren. Along with the SAPS-Interpol and the SAPS, they have regularly tracked down information about where the murder suspect would be, and passed it on to their Brazilian counterparts.
On Thursday they were notified: Jansen van Vuuren was arrested in Rio de Janeiro at approximately 12:00.
The hope is that, as the application for extradition to South Africa has already been approved, Jansen van Vuuren will be brought back soon so that the trial can start here against him.