32 men, said to be Ethiopian nationals, have been rescued from a house in Rabie Ridge near Midrand this week.
According to Haws spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu, the operation conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Johannesburg focusing on trafficking in persons’ investigation, together with the department of home affairs, also resulted in a successful arrest of a 35-year-old man positively linked to human trafficking related cases in Gauteng.
Police followed up on intelligence regarding suspicious trafficking in persons activities at a house in Rabie Ridge, near Midrand.
“Upon arrival, authorities kept surveillance at a positively identified premises and pounced on a suspect who was relaxing just outside the house,” said Mulamu.
“A thorough search was conducted, police found and rescued 32 men who were locked-up in one room.
The suspect was immediately arrested and charged with kidnapping.”
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The 32 men were taken to a place of safety for procedural medical observation and treatment.
The 35-year-old man is expected to appear in the Alexandra Magistrate’s court on Monday, 06 December.
In separate incident last month, a Nigerian national was sentenced to five life terms plus five years by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for human trafficking, rape and assault.
Peter Akadoronge was convicted on three counts of trafficking in persons, two counts of rape and one count of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.
On 26 November 2017, three women were approached by three Nigerian men with an offer of employment when one of the women suggested that they go to a nearby night club to discuss the offer of employment.
“The men bought drinks for them and upon consuming these drinks, they became unconscious and after regaining consciousness, they realised that they were at an unknown place. They testified that they found themselves in a room with two unknown ladies. The room had no windows, except for one mattress that was on the floor. The two ladies informed them that they were in Rosettenville, Johannesburg,” said the NPA in a statement.
During court proceedings, State Advocate Colleen Ryan argued that Akadoronge came as a visitor in South Africa and chose to disregard the laws of the country. She further argued that he left his victims with both emotional and physical scars.
In his judgment, Magistrate Simon Radasi said: “Women have a legitimate claim to walk freely in our streets without fear of being abducted. The courts must remove people that are of danger to society out of circulation for very long periods to send a clear message that our justice system frowns upon such inhumane acts.”
He ordered the sentences to run concurrently.