A man accused of being part of a human trafficking ring and operating a brothel, where girls as young as 12 were kept, was denied bail in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Sandile Patrick Zweni told the court he should be granted bail because he had contracted tuberculosis and needed to look after his two small children.

Magistrate Anita Govender rejected his application, pointing to the fact that Zweni had previous convictions for assault, culpable homicide and possession of dagga.

Zweni's co-accused, Nonduzo Dlamini, 23, and Bhabha Dubazini, 29, abandoned their bail applications before appearing in court. The three were arrested with a fourth person when 24 girls, eight of them minors, were rescued from a building in Durban's Point area. Some of the girls were as young as 12, and some were allegedly under the influence of drugs.

The fourth person was subsequently released and charges were withdrawn.

Later two more people, a doctor and his wife, were arrested in connection with the case. Dr Genchen Ragnath and his wife Ravina were released on R30 000 bail at a previous court appearance.

The five face charges of dealing in cocaine, human trafficking, keeping a brothel, and living off the earnings of prostitution.

The case was remanded to May 24. – Sapa