Teens ply their trade as prostitutes

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prostitute_march 14

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There are some 1 300 sex workers registered in the city, the majority of whom get involved in the industry to meet their financial needs.

There are about 1 300 sex workers registered in the city–, the majority of whom get involved in the industry to meet their financial needs. Of these, about 250 work the streets while 964 ply their trade independently or at brothels. Young girls are often lured with the promise of a higher income but the risks involved are sometimes more than they bargained for. CARYN DOLLEY talks to the women involved and discovers what happens behind the scenes.

She’s a 15-year-old girl working the streets of Bellville as a prostitute.

And, says Vice Squad assistant chief Nathan Ladegourdie, the youngster’s not the only one.

The Vice Squad is run by the City of Cape Town and is aimed at cracking down on prostitution.

It also tries to help sex workers – who want to leave the industry – find a way out.

According to Ladegourdie, Vice Squad members only recently discovered the girl, who was originally from Belhar.

He said while they had previously come across her, she had supplied them with a false name and told them she was much older.

Ladegourdie said the girl became a prostitute about two years ago in Bellville and was convicted of theft last year.

She was sentenced to a juvenile facility, but after spending three months there she left and returned to work as a prostitute in Bellville.

Ladegourdie said a magistrate had since ordered the girl to return to the juvenile facility in Wellington. She would be allowed to leave when she turned 18.

The Vice Squad keeps a data base of sex workers operating in Cape Town.

According to Ladegourdie, 1 296 women and 30 men had been registered over a period of 11 months, ending in March.

A police investigator, who worked on trafficking cases and who declined to be named as he was not permitted to speak to the media, said girls and women who did not necessarily choose to get involved in sex work were often lured into the industry.

He said a classic example was brothels advertising as massage parlours and looking to employ young women.

“The girls respond to the ads and are trained on the spot. They earn a pittance as masseuses. They’re told to make more money, they should perform blow jobs. This turns into full blown sex,” the investigator said.

He said because clients constantly wanted new women, if those employed in brothels in the city centre were not servicing enough clients, they were then transferred to less popular brothels. The investigator said when police raided brothels, officers often did not find any signs of illegal activity as the establishments had plans in place to prepare for raids.

He said during operations, officers warned girls what their jobs could lead to and offered to help them leave.

“Sometimes they choose to leave, sometimes they don’t,” the investigator said.

In a publication called “Trafficking, Sexual Exploitation, Lies & Deceit: What you haven’t been told” and written by a number of NGO representatives, a sex worker’s story was cited.

A woman identified as “M” said she had responded to an advert for a receptionist/ trainee masseuse at an establishment in Long Street.

“I was divorced and needed the money for my baby. I really did not know what I was in for. As a white girl, I found that the men preferred the so-called coloured girls,” she said.

To try and attract more clients, M stopped using condoms. “I was earning around R20 000 a month… It dropped somewhat and I was fired,” she said.

M then got a job at Naughty 40 in Bree Street where she worked for a long time before moving to an establishment in the suburbs.

“Things are bad and I can’t support my kids so I have sent them away. I stay at this place and sleep in the beds we use for the clients. You are right, it is a complete mess up. I went to a good school and should be sitting pretty today. The sex and the drugs messed me (up),” she said.

caryn.dolley@inl.co.za - Cape Times


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MDK, wrote

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11:40pm on 27 April 2011
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This story is misleading. The backgrounds and reasons of prostitutes are widely varying and it's not just about being "lured" into the profession. Many choose this out of free will. Now what? Now we want to lock them up? The prisons are full, so I suppose we fine them? Where they going to get the money you think? Free blow jobs for cops is where it has ended up is what I tell you. It's time to legalise and control the industry and to crack down hard on people who are acting outside the new law. For enlightenment look to Australia and New Zealand.

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Abdul Razzaq, wrote

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06:52pm on 26 April 2011
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What a sad story of prostitution, South Africa is going to wrong direction. Please pray for country, and religious leaders from all faith must act and save such people from this sinnful life. May God e with South Africa.

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James, wrote

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06:03pm on 26 April 2011
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@john...your statement is very general and obviously one not researched or thought through. Though I am not married and never have been...I have been in longterm relationships where the is sex was very good. However I hear and read all the time about men who wish there wivesgirlfriends would like sex as much as them and do it more, be more adventurous etc. This is almost cliche. This I guess is something they can get from a prostitute without having to try and meet someone new or simply keep emotion out of it. The seemingly fact is that women and men, generally speaking, have different sex drives and marriage over time does not help level this as lifes daily chores and familiarity can become a huge hindrance in the bedroom with what may have been great sex slowly losing it's oomph. While I do not say I agree with men stepping outside their relationships, I do understand how a prostitute can fulfill what can simply be regarded as a basic human need though dark and dirty the industry is. I am a firm believer that both persons in a relationship need to make an effort to satisfy the other and cannot simply think that excluding this is a right and expect the other person to agree and accept it. This will probably lead to philandering with other womenpeople andor prostitutes.

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Candice, wrote

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02:55pm on 26 April 2011
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Hate to break it to some people but prostitution is the oldest industry in the world. It will never be eradicated. As long as there is a demand there will be a supply and I really don’t think the demand is going to go anywhere. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with human nature. Is it right, no but thinking you’re going to get rid of it is a bit naive. All you can try do is educate people so they have more options open to them. I support designated areas, compulsory health checks, etc. for prostitutes as this would go a long way in helping control certain aspects of the profession.

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john, wrote

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02:42pm on 26 April 2011
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what do men get from these prostitudes that their wives cannt offer?no to prostitution.

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Legend, wrote

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12:13pm on 26 April 2011
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I agree with Mrs Kiwi....the Re-distribution of the country's wealth is very important and poverty must be eradicated....problem in Africa is Corruption hence the people suffer.....Africa-wide unfortunately.

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Anonymous, wrote

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10:59am on 26 April 2011
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this is a world wide problem but the money involved allowed thye criminals to have intelligence in the police etc Who pays taxes in this trade??

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Worcester, wrote

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10:52am on 26 April 2011
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I thought Hellen said Cape Town is the best run City, so its a city full of 15 year old Prostitutes , Shame.

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Mrs Kiwi, wrote

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10:49am on 26 April 2011
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Less ZumaANC party's and more helping the poor and doing the job of govt providing for citizens and lesss corruptionstealing from the poor and jobs creation = less prostitution. Do your job ANC.people do crime and prostitution as a means to an end to feed them selves and sometimes their families.

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Tony, wrote

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09:17am on 26 April 2011
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This is so sad...

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