Cape Town - Scores of community members in Langa braved the rainy weather on Saturday morning while walking the streets in a bid to raise awareness of human trafficking.
The walk – now in its third year – seeks to encourage involvement from civil society and communities to fight human trafficking and its impact on society.
Thunzalite Jacobs said they wanted to empower potential victims of human trafficking and the general public and inspire action to help prevent this heinous crime.
“While human trafficking is widespread, we usually do not look at the inner situation in which someone can be abducted within the community and is maybe taken to another zone, disoriented and influenced by drugs, and gets raped for a certain period of time.
“Kids and teenagers are taken out of their homes and gang-raped, sold for labour or trafficked for their organs. Currently the demand is high because of the pandemic, therefore people are now more at risk and they need to be alert,” she said.
Jacobs said parents should also be vigilant. Bogus interviews were one of the frequent forms used by traffickers to lure women, said Jacobs.
A 35-year-old Gugulethu woman was left traumatised after she was kidnapped and raped for four days when she received a call inviting her for a job interview in Tyger Valley Mall on October 11.
“When someone is called for any form of interview, background check and verification of any details is crucial. While it has been assumed that this crime is mostly organised by foreign nationals as they cannot be identified, we know that those involved locally are mostly drug addicts desperate for the next cash or fix, while girls are also recruited to lure these other girls for a better life,” she said.
Langa Safety Patrol chairperson Bandile Gcuwa said it was necessary for the patrol to be part of the campaign as it cuts to the core of the social ills happening in society.
“We cannot fold our arms and pretend that all is well when women and children get raped, disappear and get molested daily.
“It is our responsibility, as men especially and as a community at large to rise and take part in initiatives done in combating these barbaric acts.