Women freed from sex slavery

Hawks arrested three Nigerian nationals for using 10 girls as sex slaves at a flat in Arcadia. Photo: Roodepoort Record

Ten women forced into working as sex slaves were recently freed from a flat in Arcadia, Pretoria.

Hawks spokesperson Robert Netshiunda said the priority crime unit suspected the flat was being used as a brothel and acted last month.

“When we got there, we found 10 women there together with one client whom we called in for questioning. Three Nigerian men were arrested as they were responsible for the syndicate,” Netshiunda.

The three were charged with contravening the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2013.

Drugs were also found on the premises together with more than eight stolen vehicles.

“A Zimbabwean woman was promised a job as a waitress and was brought to South Africa,” said Netshiunda.

“She ended up being a sex slave, the rest are from other provinces. The victims were recruited via word of mouth and have not seen their families in years.”

He said the women were believed to have returned to their respective homes.

Trail of Hope, a city NGO helping young people against human trafficking, drug abuse and domestic violence, advised parents to be wide awake.

Managing director Tendai Joe said human trafficking usually occurred when young people were raised by ignorant parents.

“For instance, in a home where the children are raised by an elderly person or a parent who does not know about their child’s movements, the children get promised opportunities by total strangers.”

Joe urged parents to keep tabs on their children’s whereabouts and their conversations. Know who they were speaking to and about what.

“If a child is promised a job or new clothes or promises to move to a new city, children should inform a loved one before running off with a total stranger,” he explained.

On social media and short message texting applications, such as WhatsApp or WeChat, parents should know who their children befriended online.

“They should be careful of whom they befriend as these culprits can sell them dreams only to find that in the end, they are sold into sex trade,” he said.

Also read:

Couple forced to have sex during hijacking

Sex workers target pupils

NATIONAL NEWS: These condoms ‘make no noise’ during sex, says Ramaphosa

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Tshegofatso Ngobeni

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