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By Ilse de Lange


I was drugged, forced to sleep with more than 10 clients a night – former prostitute

The woman claims the man on trial for human trafficking would demand that the ladies of the night handover all the cash they made to him the next morning.

A former prostitute has told the High Court in Pretoria she was plied with drugs and forced to see more than 10 clients a night while living with a Nigerian in a Pretoria flat.

The woman was testifying in the trial of Nigerians Obioma Benjamin Abba, 32, and Chinedu Justice Obasi, 38, who have pleaded to numerous charges ranging from human trafficking, money laundering, running a brothel to drug-related charges.

A South African woman, Nolwazi Patience Mkhonto, is on trial with them for allegedly subleasing her flat to the brothers, knowing it would be used to harbour victims of human trafficking.

The state alleges Obasi had used women as prostitutes, but later handed over the business to his brother.

The woman, who testified through closed circuit television, told the court she couldn’t leave Obasi’s flat as she did not have any money and was addicted to drugs.

She described a nightmare existence of sleeping during the day and being woken up at six in the evening to smoke a pipe of rock cocaine before being sent into the streets to work for up to 12 hours .

She would have up to 10 clients or more per night and would be given a “sleeper drug” on her return. She needed the drugs and they enabled her to do the work, she said.

She was given more rock cocaine to smoke between clients but if she had a long wait, she would get a “hanger” to keep her going.

She said Obasi did not like it if the women drank and would hit them if they did. They had to hand over their earnings to him the next morning.

They were not allowed to keep any of the money and were assaulted if they were found with any cash.

Clients paid between R80 and R100, depending on what they wanted, but she also served men who just wanted a naked woman to sit around while they smoked rock cocaine, paying between R200-R300 for two hours and even spending up to R10 000.

She said Obasi used to make the drugs himself, but sometimes bought from other dealers. – ilsedl@citizen.co.za

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