A mother and son duo have been arrested and appeared before court for allegedly trafficking 47 foreign nationals.
The accused, Dumazile Nkosi, 51, and Thandoluhle Nkosi, 25, briefly appeared before the Springs Magistrates’ Court on Monday, facing charges of trafficking in persons, keeping a safe house, assisting illegal immigrants to evade the law as well as illegal possession of ammunition.
Police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said the arrests came after the pair were requested to appear before the court as additional suspects in the ongoing trafficking in persons’ case being investigated by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s Serious Corruption Investigation team in the Vaal Rand.
According to Mogale, the pair were added to the investigation as they were allegedly keeping and leasing premises where during February 2022, 47 foreign nationals were found.
They were also roped in for the failure to report activities related to trafficking in persons.
Both the mother and son were remanded in custody and will appear again in court for their formal bail application on October, 18.
Mogale said another suspect Dawit Adamu, 31, was also identified while attending the court case of his brother, Solomon Adamu and arrested on a warrant on October 5.
Adamu consequently made his first appearance in the Spring Magistrates’ Court on the same day and was granted bail.
He will return to court on November 3, where he will be joined by the other accused in the case.
“Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights, therefore the community is urged to pay attention to some of the following tips to ascertain if a person is being trafficked,” advised Hawks provincial head Major-General Ebrahim Kadwa in welcoming the arrests.
Kadwa urged communities to be on the lookout for tell-tale signs that may assist in identifying if persons were possibly being trafficked which included poor living conditions, multiple people in a cramped space, inability to speak to an individual alone, answers appearing to be scripted and rehearsed.
Other markers include whether the employer is holding the identity or travel documents of employees, signs of physical abuse, submissive or fearful behaviour or if persons were being unpaid or paid very little for labour.