Six life sentences and an additional 129 years imprisonment was meted out to a Nigerian national for human trafficking and related charges after he kept three young girls hostage to work as sex slaves.
Judge Natvarlil Ranchod, sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa on Wednesday cited experts as saying that human trafficking is increasing worldwide. It not only caused trauma to the victims, but also to communities.
Criminals view it as a thriving business as sex slaves often young girls can be used over and over to generate money for their brothel masters.
But the judge made it clear that the court viewed human trafficking in an extremely serious light and it will be met with the harshest sentences possible.
The court heard evidence behind closed doors for months from, among others, three young victims around the age of 13 and 14, who were lured from the streets by recruits – other young girls – used by brothel master Ediozi Odi.
These girls were mostly vulnerable and came from poor families. They were lured to a house in Springs with promises of a better life.
None of these victims had any idea they were entering Odi’s brothel – a house which masqueraded as a shop and a barber.
Once inside the house of horrors, these girls were immediately forced to smoke a drug called “rocks”. This was manufactured and sold by Odi and is believed to be highly addictive, IOL reported.
An expert told the court that once these girls were exposed to this drug, they were immediately hooked. He said they would do anything to get their hands on the drug.
The girls told the court how they were taught to smoke the drug by one of Odi’s co-accused, Nomsa Hlalele.
Once high on the drugs, Odi himself raped these girls “to teach them the tools of the trade” as an initiation into the sex trade.