Pretoria – Cornelis Johannes Uys, a 60-year-old father, and his 23-year-old son Cornelis Johannes Albertus Uys have appeared before the Belfast Magistrate’s Court alongside co-accused, Mozambican brothers Carlos Bernardo Guambe, 34, and Gabriel Bernardo Guambe, 32.
The four have been charged for contravening the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, and participating or conspiring to trafficking in persons.
Mpumalanga provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said the Guambe brothers were additionally charged with contravention of the Immigration Act.
“The bail application against the two brothers was abandoned and the accused were remanded in custody. Their case was postponed to 18 July 2022 for an interpreter and plea,” Sekgotodi said.
“The bail application against the other two accused, the father and son, Cornelis Johannes Uys and Cornelis Johannes Albertus Uys, was argued by the defence and the case was postponed to (today) Tuesday, 12 July 2022, for further bail hearing. The accused was remanded in custody.
It is alleged that 39 victims were recruited from Mozambique and brought into South Africa in a taxi, with the promise of better jobs.
They victims comprised seven women, nine children under the age of 5 years old and 23 men all over the age of 18, and were rescued from a farm in Belfast. They were taken to a place of safety in Witbank.
Previously, police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said: “It is alleged the modus operandi entailed the victims being brought into South Africa from Mozambique in a taxi. In Lydenburg, the farm owner’s son and one trafficker will meet the taxi driver and pay him. The victims will then be brought on the farm for labour.”