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Durban - Durban doctor Genchen Rugnath and his wife, Ravina, who are charged with more than 60 counts of human trafficking, will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court again on Wednesday, along with their three co-accused – Sandile Zweni, 37, Nondumizo Blue Dlamini, 23, and Bhabha Dubazani, 29.
Their case, which shocked the city when they were arrested at an upmarket resort in uMhlanga in April, led to the liberation of 18 women ranging in age from 14 to 26.
Their victims allege they were forced into a life of prostitution and kept captive. A date is likely to be set down for the trial to take place.
On Tuesday, in a public lecture on human trafficking at Unisa’s Durban campus, advocate Val Dafel of the National Prosecuting Authority said KwaZulu-Natal had become the centre of human trafficking in SA, with poor children being lured to Durban mainly from the Eastern Cape.
The method of the traffickers was to entice youngsters – mainly girls – with promises of jobs and bursaries.
When they arrived in Durban, they were locked up and drugged until they became compliant, and were then forced into prostitution.
So concerning was the problem that the province was leading SA in the fight against the scourge with its new inter-sectoral task team on human trafficking, prostitution, pornography and brothels. The task team is made up of the NPA, police and various NGOs.
The problem was universal, with an estimated 12 million people trafficked every year – 80 percent of them women and young girls.
“This is the largest criminal industry in the world,” she said. - The Mercury