A 17-year-old sex worker who allegedly lured two 14-year-old girls into a Nigerian man’s prostitution and drug ring is expected to plead guilty to a range of charges in the High Court in Pretoria today.
Judge Natvarlal Ranchod yesterday postponed the trial of the girl, her Nigerian boss, his girlfriend, a sex worker and the group’s alleged driver until today for the girl’s guilty plea and statement to be finalised. The prosecution said it would apply for the other accused to go on trial separately.
The 17-year-old, Nigerian Edozie Obi, 44, his girlfriend Nomsa “Blessing” Hlalele, 23, sex worker Mahlatse Hlatshwayo, 26, and Luke Botha, 43, face a total of 29 charges ranging from human trafficking, kidnapping and rape to sexually exploiting children for money, sexually grooming children, keeping a brothel and dealing in drugs.
The state alleges Obi rented a house in Springs from which he distributed drugs and ran a tuck shop and brothel. Potential clients were allegedly approached to buy groceries from the tuck shop but were then offered sex in exchange for money.
The money was allegedly given to Obi, who gave the sex workers drugs and beer in return.
In 2016, Obi allegedly lured a 19-year-old woman to the brothel, where she was locked up, shown how to use drugs and forced to perform sexual acts on Odi and his girlfriend. She was allegedly forced to watch Obi and his girlfriend having sex before Obi raped her while his girlfriend held her down.
The 17-year-old sex worker allegedly agreed to recruit unsuspecting underaged girls in Balfour as sex workers and lured two 14-year-old girls to the brothel where they were locked up, forced to consume drugs and forced to have sex with several men.
Obi’s girlfriend allegedly took half-naked pictures of all three victims which were used to advertise their sexual services on the internet.
The 19-year-old was allegedly held captive and forced to work as a prostitute for a year while the two 14-year-old girls were exploited for less than a week before being rescued by police.