AN ALLEGED illegal abortion mastermind, who is believed to be part of a syndicate operating in Limpopo, appeared briefly in the Polokwane Magistrate’s court on Thursday.
Richard Tjuuko faced charges of contravening both the Termination of Pregnancy Act, as well as the Immigration Act.
The court told Tjuuko (43) that a charge of contravening the Immigration Act was added after he failed to prove that he was in the country legally.
Tjuuko, originally from Uganda, was arrested on Tuesday after the police and the Department of Health officials launched a crackdown on illegal
and her department’s officials
Speaking from the scene of the alleged culprit’s arrest, Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba expressed dissatisfaction and concern over the alarming rate of illegal abortions in the province.
Due to the level of brutality and maternal deaths related to illegal abortions, Ramathuba and mid-wives criss-crossed the Polokwane CBD removing illegal abortion adverts from the street lamps.
During the operation, a woman was spotted handing out adverts, and an undercover operative helped to track down Tjuuko to the nearby premises he was operating from.
The woman apparently worked for him.
However, the Ugandan denied conducting illegal operations despite having agreed with an undercover agent that he would terminate a pregnancy for R5 000.
Numerous streets in Polokwane have illegal abortion clinics which operate out of backyard and stuffy offices.
Tjuuko was remanded in custody until August 08 for possible bail application.