Human traffickers’ bail application to be heard

The house in Eighth Street where the first two suspects, accused one and two, were arrested on May 19.

Two of the four suspects (accused three and four) who stand accused of charges relating to an alleged human trafficking den, briefly appeared in the Springs Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The case was postponed to June 30, for their formal bail application.

Accused three, a 17-year-old girl, will be held at a place of safety until then.

She appeared, in camera, in the Springs Magistrate’s Court on June 7.

At this stage, the court cannot confirm whether she will be tried with her three co-accused or separately.

Accused four, an adult man (42) who was arrested on June 8, appeared alongside accused three.

His request for legal aid, made during his appearance on June 9, was granted and his case was postponed to June 30 when he and accused one and two will make their bail applications.

Accused one and two, a 42-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman, were arrested on May 19, in a house in Eighth Street.

According Springs police spokesperson Capt Johannes Ramphora, both have other criminal charges pending against them.

Ramphora says the man was out on bail when he was arrested, on a charge of rape, while the woman stands accused of a prior case of kidnapping.

“The woman is believed to be the mastermind behind the alleged human trafficking ring.

“She allegedly lured children, locally and from Balfour, in Mpumalanga, into the house,” he says.

Accused one, two and four will remain in custody at Modderbee Prison until their bail hearing on June 30.

Each of the four suspects is facing two charges of human trafficking, five charges of dealing in drugs, one charge of prostitution and one charge of operating a brothel.

On June 9, magistrate Carla Verster asked the court to arrange for isiZulu and Ibo (one of the official languages of Nigeria) interpreters to be present at their next court appearance.

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Anna Robertson

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