‘My daughter was victim of trafficking’
Durban - A teenager who plunged to her death from the 16th floor of an eManzimtoti block of flats at the weekend may have been a victim of a child trafficking or prostitution ring operating from wealthy suburbs, her father believes.
Dino Reddy, who said on Tuesday he would not rest until he found out what happened, thinks his daughter, Kelly, was pushed at Amanzi Flats after fending off advances from ring members.
He said he had been given information that Kelly had been recruited at a shopping centre in Mobeni Heights by an Indian man who had promised her employment.
He was told that shortly after her first meeting, the teenager was introduced to a Russian woman, “Anishka”, and it was then arranged for her to go to eManzimtoti to finalise her “job” details.
Less than two days after arriving at the flat, Kelly was found dead. She was in the company of two Russian woman in the 16th floor flat when she allegedly “fell”.
Her birth certificate and ID were found on her body.
A post-mortem report has revealed that Kelly had died of multiple blunt force injuries.
Reddy said his daughter’s body was beyond recognition.
“Her body was broken in two. She landed face first. I had to identify her by the clothing she was wearing and a birthmark on her foot,” he said. “It was a sight I will never forget. That has motivated me to find out what led to my baby’s gruesome death.”
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said the circumstances around the incident were being investigated.
Reddy, a single father, said his daughter had left school in grade 10, while staying with her mother.
“When I found out I brought her back home and we agreed she would attend a trade school. But she never got down to it. She moved out again about two weeks ago and went back to her mother.”
He said he was alerted on Friday morning by his ex-wife that Kelly had been missing.
“She was missing for a week and no one told me a word. Less than 24 hours later I was told that my daughter was lying in a mortuary.”
Reddy went to the flat where his daughter died in search of answers.
“Both ladies were gone. The flat was locked. I managed to get a telephone number for Anishka,” he said, adding that when he called her she claimed she had felt pity for Kelly and had wanted to help her.
“She said Kelly had told her she had been through troubled times. I think they believed she had no family and saw her as an ideal candidate to be trafficked.”
He said suicide would have never been an option for his youngest child.
“She grew up in the church. No matter how bad things were, she knew God would never fail her. She would have never taken the easy way out. If that was the case she would have killed herself a long time ago,” he said.
“I do not know whether my child was drawn into a human trafficking or prostitution ring. But I do know she did not kill herself.”
He said he wanted the people behind his daughter’s death to be brought to book.
“Anishka met my pastor on Higginson Highway and gave him Kelly’s belongings. Among her things was her CV. That proves to me she was lured with the promise of a job.”
He said he planned to meet Anishka in coming days. “She must look me in the eye and tell me my daughter jumped to her death... I am not a fool.”
Reddy said he was also investigating possibilities that his daughter could have been lured into the underworld over social networking sites.
“I will leave no stone unturned. If she met this guy on Facebook or any other site, I will find out. These predators need to be stopped.”
Reddy said he had hired the services of a private investigator in his quest for the truth.
ANC councillor and family friend Brandon Pillay said he too believed Kelly had been killed. “There are too many unanswered questions,” he said.
“Police must bring the culprits to book.”
Pillay said child trafficking was a huge problem in the Chatsworth area. “It is fuelled by the high unemployment rate and poverty.
Young girls are lured with the promise of jobs, cash, new clothes and fancy accommodation.”
Pillay said the recruiters were known to operate from upmarket suburbs, which was a major drawcard for girls from impoverished Chatsworth.
He said by the time the girls realised it was a scam, it was too late to get out.
Pillay said he had no doubt police would provide the answers the family were searching for.