Human trafficking trial to resume on Thursday

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The trial of seven Chinese nationals arrested for alleged human trafficking and child labour will resume in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.

This after it was postponed, due to the ill health of a Mandarin interpreter.  

The seven accused Kevin Tsao Shu-Uei, Chen Hui, Qin Li, Jiaqing Zhou, Ma Biao, Dai Junying, and Zhang Zhilian appeared in Court on Monday.  

The Department of Employment and Labour said that in their last appearance on 16 August 2021 the trial was also postponed after the presiding Judge, Mhango could not attend due to other commitments.

The Chinese nationals are facing schedule six offences and are facing 160 counts of contravening of South Africa’s labour laws, trafficking in persons, contravention of Immigration Act, knowingly employing illegal foreigners, kidnapping, pointing a firearm, debt bondage, benefitting from the services of a victim of trafficking. Offences also include conduct that facilitates trafficking, illegally assisting person(s) to remain in South Africa, and failure to comply with duties of an employer.

The Chinese nationals were arrested for allegedly running an illegal enterprise called Beautiful City Pty Ltd located at Village Deep in Johannesburg.

The arrest was yielded by a joint operation by the Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch in Gauteng together with the South African Police Services (SAPS), Department of Home Affairs and the Hawks Unit.   

The accused have pleaded not guilty to all the charges. 

To date, three former employees of the illegal enterprise have taken to the stand. The witnesses are Malawian nationals. –