Body parts trafficking ‘is real’

Following a damning report released by Mozambican Human Rights League lawyer, Paulo Jorge, which implicates local witch doctors in Mozambique and their South African counterparts in trading in human body parts, the SAPS in Vosloorus have embarked on a campaign to alert local communities about the dangers of human trafficking.


According to the police, the Kathorus townships of Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus and other black residential areas around Ekurhuleni have been identified as home to a high percentage of Mozambican and other immigrants who live on the fringes of the metro’s densely populated townships and informal settlements.

While many of the foreigners are economic migrants, a certain percentage among them are in fact victims of human trafficking gangs that operate between the two countries. Although Capt Piet Rossouw of the Vosloorus SAPS told Kathorus MAIL that at this stage human trafficking in the area was not an issue, he confirmed that the problem was regarded by his superiors in Auckland as a serious threat that needs to be “nipped in the bud” before it can manifest itself in local communities.

“As the police we are aware that our role is to be pre-emptive and proactive and raise awareness that protects the community before such crimes can take root,” said Capt. Rossouw. He said that the SAPS regards human trafficking as a top priority crime that should be monitored at local levels on a regular basis.

Rossouw described human trafficking as a difficult crime to detect, especially because it often involves foreigners who may not be known to the locals. To the locals, a trafficked victim might be just another member of the immigrant family. He added that it is for this reason that the police want to engage the public in monitoring human-trafficking victims who are often mostly women and children.

Capt. Rousouw described human trafficking as the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking victims are often forced to live in horrible conditions, without an income for many years.

Seventy per cent of the world’s poor are women and girls and most of them live in developing countries with limited options for earning a living to care for their families. Many of these women and girls are trafficked into the sex trade as prostitutes.

Men and boys are also trafficked and forced to work for criminal gangs as cheap labour.

However, human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and happens in all industrialised nations including South Africa.

The SAPS urges the community to come forward with information regarding any form of human trafficking that is taking place. All information received will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Who can I contact?

SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10111

SAPS Emergency Line: 10111

SAPS Vosloorus: 011 724 1004/5

CSC Commander: 076 205 2043




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