Mother sells five day old twins for R50 a day while authorities calls for a harsher conviction
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Cape Town - A mother and two other people were arrested yesterday after they allegedly agreed to human traffic her 5-day old twins for R50 a day in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.
The alarm was raised when members from the Gqebera Serious Organised Crime Investigation team of the Hawks received information that the mother had allegedly human trafficked her twins to feed her drug addiction.
When the Hawks visited the community, they learnt that the mother had allegedly already given the twins to a potential buyer who would pay her R50 a day to feed her drug addiction and later apply for the children’s grant.
The grant would be distributed amongst the mother and the buyer.
Once the Hawks found the twins at the house of the alleged buyer in Uitenhage, they were severely dehydrated and malnourished.
They were admitted to hospital and would later be placed in safe care of the State.
The two suspects, including the mother, will appear at the Uitenhage Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said: “It is alleged that on June 2, 2021 information was received that there was a possible human trafficking that was about to take place as the mother of five days old twin girls was reported to be looking for a buyer.”
“The information was followed up on and it is said that the mother had already given the babies to the prospective buyer by the time the information was received.
“The joint team of law enforcers followed the lead to a house in Uitenhage where the alleged prospective buyer was arrested and the babies rescued.
“Another arrest was effected on the mother of the twins and another suspect which brought the number of the arrestees to three.
“The twins were admitted in hospital for medical attention as they were dehydrated and severely malnourished. They will be taken to a place of safety upon discharge.
“The trio is remanded in custody and will appear in Uitenhage Magistrate court on Monday the 7 June 2021 as investigations are still in progress,” Mgolodela said.
Meanwhile in March, two brave sisters, aged 14 and 16, came out and told Weekend Argus how they were allegedly human trafficked by their mother for as little as R10 in Athlone.
The case which ran for years at court, soon collapsed due to a lack of evidence.
The girls told of how they had to beg for food and how they were allegedly sold by men who were known to their mother while they lived in an informal settlement.
At the time the story was published, human rights activist and ward councillor Barbara Rass, who has rescued several women and children who were human trafficked, had called for a harsh sentence for the culprits.
She said: “Mothers who sell their children for sex must get a harsher sentence than the perpetrators themselves.
“Human trafficking cases are not investigated properly and these perpetrators are given bail to continue their trade.”
Candice van der Rheede of the Western Cape Missing Children’s Unit, who also assists in fostering children and protecting the vulnerable, said there were organisations willing to help mothers who do not want their children.
“We have too many negligent parents who do not worry about their children’s safety. There are organisations who are willing to help mothers who do not want their children and cannot take care of them.
“However we do have a problem with fostering parents, who are not fit to be parents, so there is a whole ripple effect,” she said.