BuzzSouthAfrica has confirmed the rescue of five girls who were kept and used as sex slaves in Springs, Ekurhuleni by a 42-year-old Nigerian man.
The South African Government News Agency reported that the Nigerian man was arrested after Springs police reacted to information about him keeping girls as sex slaves for human trafficking. When he was arrested, he was in possession of drugs and pornographic materials.
Confirming the arrest, Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza welcomed the rescue of the girls. She said:
“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.”
With that, the MEC identified that unemployment and poverty are factors contributing to the increase in the trafficking of girls. She added that the government is extensively using the new Human Trafficking Act to fight the crime.
“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,” stated the MEC.
Also, MEC Mayathula-Khoza related that the Gauteng government created an anti-trafficking task team.
The task team, BuzzSouthAfrica learnt, 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).
Essentially, the task team was created to train community and non-governmental organisations to help fight human trafficking.
According to the MEC, “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,” she disclosed.
She further disclosed that the victims are being cared for by social worker and psychologist as they are usually drug-dependent and have been sexually or physically abused.
This is the case with the five girls used as sex slaves by the Nigerian. The girls aged between 14 and 19-years-old have been placed in the care of the Gauteng Department of Social Department.