Doctor did not book prostitutes: testimony

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brothel accused dr

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Genchen Rugnath and his wife Ravina Rugnath with their legal team outside court. File picture:Marilyn Bernard

Durban - A Durban doctor and his wife did not make bookings for prostitutes at his hotel, a receptionist told the Durban Regional Court on Tuesday.

State witness Yvonne Dudu Shinga, who worked at one of Dr Genchen Ragnath's two hotels in Point road, Durban, made the admission under cross-examination,

She told the court she had not seen the doctor or his wife Ravina make a booking for the prostitutes who frequented the Inn Town Lodge.

The couple and three men face a total of 156 charges including assault, rape, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering.

They allegedly ran a brothel, in the notorious Point Road area, where children as young as 12 were kept.

Sandile Patrick Zweni, 36, Nonduzo Dlamini, 24, Bhabha Dubazini and a fourth person were arrested last February. The fourth person was later released.

They have pleaded not guilty to dealing in cocaine, human trafficking, and keeping a brothel.

Shinga told the court she could not say if either Rugnath or his wife were aware that Zweni was allegedly selling drugs on the premises.

Rugnath's lawyer Anand Nepaul told the court Shinga faced a disciplinary hearing at the hotel in 2012.

He said it was alleged she would book a customer into a hotel room for the night, even though the customer would use the room only for an hour or two.

She would then allegedly resell the room the same night to other hourly customers, and would pocket the R100 fee charged.

Rugnath previously claimed he had no knowledge of what went on at his hotels, and that he left the day-to-day operations in the control of hotel manager Veena Budram.

The case continues. - Sapa


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