Cape Town - The key witness in the trial of an alleged trafficking ring delivered a shocking testimony in the Western Cape High Court where she revealed that she had stabbed her own mother, and was manipulated into working as a prostitute.
The State witness took the stand on Tuesday to provide testimony in the trial of Edward Ayuk, his wife Leandre Ayuk and brother Yannick Ayuk, who are facing charges on multiple counts of rape, trafficking, kidnapping, debt bondage and assault.
The witness, who may not be named, was ushered in by Correctional Services and made the revelation as she was being questioned by State prosecutor, advocate Maria Marshall.
The witness told the court that she had been arguing with her sister when she became enraged because her sister belittled her, accusing her of being a prostitute and having HIV. She then grabbed a knife; at that point her mother jumped in-between the two, and she stabbed her.
The witness was identified as one of the alleged victims of the trafficking ring that operated in Brooklyn in 2017.
During an emotional testimony, the witness described the details surrounding how she had allegedly been manipulated into working as a prostitute for the accused.
In her testimony, the witness told the court she was persuaded by Leandre, who she knew from Springbok, to travel to Cape Town after a family dispute. She arrived in the city and stayed at Edward’s house in Brooklyn.
During a party, she felt as though she had been drugged and consequently had sex with men at the party.
She was then informed by Edward that she would be working for him as a prostitute.
The witness told the court how she was allegedly held against her will and that she had made two attempts to escape before she finally succeeded. After the second attempt to escape, as punishment she was forced to sit on her knees and hold a 20 litre bucket of water on her head.
She claims Edward laughed as she suffered and proceeded to physically assault her by giving her ten lashes with an electrical cord, hitting her on her back and bruising her legs.
She also told the court that she received no remuneration for her sex work and would only be given drugs that she described as “rocks”.
According to the witness, her ID and personal effects were also taken from her, and she was locked in a room that could only be opened from the outside.
The trial will resume today where the witness will be cross-examined by the defence, advocate Mohamed Sibda.
The State has alleged that the three worked together to recruit a number of women for the purpose of sex work. The women were allegedly manipulated by the three accused to leave their homes under the pretext of finding work opportunities in the city.
These women were then transported from Matjiesfontein and Springbok in the Northern Cape to Brooklyn in Cape Town, where they were used for sexual exploitation.
The State alleged that six women were victims of the trafficking ring. The two brothers are currently in custody while Leandre is out on bail.