File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
PRETORIA, - Two women, believed to have been kept against their will in a Pretoria flat, have been rescued by units of the South African Police Service Police (SAPS), spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said on Friday.

"The women, aged 19 and 21 years of age, were allegedly forced into prostitution for several months. The latest discovery brings the total number of women rescued from abduction and human trafficking circles in the same area to nine in recent weeks," said Mathe.

"In the latest operation, a team comprising of detectives from the organised crime unit: narcotics section, members of the Public Order Police (POPS) and Visible Policing had been following up on intelligence-gathered information on drug and human trafficking in the area."

Mathe said during the search and seizure operation at an identified address, police officers discovered the two women who allege they had been kept against their will and coerced into a life of prostitution and drugs.

"Two men who were previously arrested by the SAPS and were out on bail were immediately apprehended and the women taken to a place of safety.  Last week, a third man believed to be working with the pair was also arrested in Kempton Park," said Mathe.

Three cellphones belonging to the suspects have been confiscated further processing.

Two of the three suspects will appear before the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday. The third suspect has already appeared before the court and will make another appearance on December 9 for a formal bail application.

Head of SAPS family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit, Major General Bafana Linda has applauded the police teams for prioritising the safety of women, children and vulnerable groups.

“With the launch of the 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children upon us, we have intensified our efforts in hunting down perpetrators of gender-based violence. We thank our dedicated officers for tracing and tracking down these suspects who are linked to other cases of abduction and human trafficking," he said.

"We have embarked on a nationwide search where we are tracing perpetrators of crimes against women, children and vulnerable groups with the aim of bringing those perpetrators before court to answer for the crimes they have committed.”

African News Agency (ANA)