Gauteng welcomes rescue of five girls

Monday, May 22, 2017

Pretoria - Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has welcomed the rescue of five girls who were used as sex slaves in Springs, Ekurhuleni. 

On Friday, Springs police acted on a tip-off and arrested a 42-year-old Nigerian man who kept young girls as sex slaves for human trafficking. He was also in possession of drugs and pornographic materials.

“These developments are a welcome contribution in our fight against human trafficking. It has become one of the biggest organised crimes in the world. Its effect has been felt in all areas of the globe as it is one of the hardest crimes to detect and prevent. Trafficking of children especially girls has grown immensely,” said the MEC on Monday.

The MEC further added that unemployment and poverty continue to play a big role in the trafficking of girls.

The rescued girls, who are aged between 14 and 19-years-old, have been placed in the care of the Gauteng Department of Social Department.

They are also being provided with the necessary support to piece their lives together.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza said government is using the new Human Trafficking Act to fight the scourge of trafficking.

“One of the tools that the government uses is the new Human Trafficking Act, which was implemented and became operational on August 9, 2015. This act makes it possible to deal with this crime more effectively. It provides for severe sentencing for convicted traffickers. It helps the Department of Social Development to eradicate modern-day slavery, by enabling the state to prosecute traffickers and confiscate their assets,” she said.

Task Team

Meanwhile, the Gauteng government has developed an anti-trafficking task team that is made up of the Department of Social Development, the Department of Health, the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Department of Community Safety, the Department of Education and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The team trains the community and non-governmental organisations to help fight human trafficking.

“The training provided by these government officials enables the community and non-governmental organisation personnel to identify victims and how to help them. Those identified as victims of human trafficking are then placed in specialised shelters funded by the Department of Social Development,” said the MEC.

These individuals are then assessed and are placed under the care of a social worker and psychologist, because these victims in most cases are drug-dependent and have been sexually or physically abused. –