Milnerton trio in trafficking case to finally hear their fate

Brothers Edward and Yannick Ayuk during the court’s site visit. Picture: Mahira Duval

Brothers Edward and Yannick Ayuk during the court’s site visit. Picture: Mahira Duval

Published May 17, 2024


Cape Town - The Milnerton trio accused of trafficking women to the Western Cape and forcing them into a life of prostitution are expected to finally hear their fate in the Western Cape High Court today after months of delays.

The trial, which started in November 2011, saw cousins Edward and Yannick Ayuk, from Cameroon, slapped with more than 40 charges including rape, kidnapping, assault and various other offences, for allegedly running a brothel in Milnerton.

According to the State’s case, the duo, along with Edward’s wife, Leandre Williams, lured women from Springbok and East London to Cape Town under false pretences and instead made them walk the streets to solicit clients.

Leandre Williams. Picture: Mahira Duval

During the mammoth trial several of the women were transported from their home towns to take the stand.

They told the court of drug abuse, alleged beatings and the realities of working on the streets of the Mother City.

Williams also took the stand in her own defence, denying she had trafficked any women from Springbok.

Instead, she admitted to being a sex worker but said many women in Springbok did so voluntarily.

Williams explained the sex trade in Springbok differed from Cape Town, as in the smaller town they would go to a nearby club, while in Cape Town sex workers take to the streets.

She also reminisced about her days working on a nearby diamond mine along with other State witnesses and other women from Springbok.

After extensive testimonies by the women, police officers and other officials, the defence lawyer for the cousins, advocate Bash Sibda, successfully argued for the acquittal of Yannick on 27 charges, saying the State did not prove their case against him.

Judge Alma De Wet subsequently ruled that 27 charges be dropped against Yannick, while Edward was acquitted of four counts of rape.

In their defence the cousins claimed that a “dirty cop” who allegedly operated as a pimp in the area conspired with other officers to have them arrested.

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Cape Argus