A couple, one of whom is a pastor, has been arrested and charged with human trafficking and the possession of child pornography in Worcester.
The National Prosecuting Authority said the man has yet to be identified publicly as he needs to make his first appearance in court and plead to the charges.
The duo are expected to prepare for a formal bail application.
Eric Ntabazalila of the NPA explained:
“The husband of a Worcester pastor who appeared in court last week charged with human trafficking and possession of child pornography, has been arrested and appeared at the Worcester Magistrate’s Court today (Tuesday).
“The husband, who cannot be named as he has not pleaded, joins his wife as her co-accused.
“The case against both accused has been postponed to August 4, 2022 for formal bail application.
“The wife's legal representative withdrew last week, but she told the court she will be appointing a new attorney who will be ready to proceed with her bail application.”
Siya Monokali of IIitha Labantu said more education was needed to protect victims of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) and called on the courts to speed up cases.
“Gender-based violence poses a serious threat to our development, and we cannot claim our democratic dispensation until women are free from this senseless violence, and this is a call to action for stronger measures to be implemented to educate and train our police officers and investigating officers to adequately handle cases of gender-based violence with the care, urgency and expediency they require.
“More emphasis needs to be placed on the urgent need to help inform our communities about their rights particularly around the issue of GBVF so that they can be better equipped to tackle the problem, this will help to build a society that is informed about their rights which would ultimately lead to greater enforcement of the law as citizens would hold police accountable for their inaction and inadequacies in dealing with cases.
“And lastly, we make an appeal to our justice system to impose the harshest sentence on those found guilty of committing crimes against women, children and vulnerable persons,” Monokali said.
Earlier this month, the SAPS revealed that two brothers, Carlos Bernardo Guambe, 34, and Gariele Bernardo Guambe, 32, are facing charges of human trafficking after 39 victims were rescued from a farm in Belfast. The youngest are nine children who are under the ages of five.
Colonel Katlego Mogale of the Hawks’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation said information received at the scene indicated that the victims were brought into South Africa via a taxi from Mozambique to Lydenburg, where the son of the farm owner and one trafficker allegedly met the taxi driver and paid him. The victims were brought to the farm for labour she explained.