Alleged human trafficker to remain behind bars

The Hawks received information about girls being trafficked from West Africa to South Africa.

Nontobeko Mathunjwa has been remanded in custody. Photo: Hawks

A woman has appeared in the local magistrate’s court in George in the Western Cape for her alleged involvement in human trafficking.

A woman alleged to be part of a

Nontobeko Mathunjwa, 34, appeared in the George Magistrate’s Court in the Western Cape on Monday on charges of trafficking in persons.

She was arrested on Saturday, December 16 by members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (known as the Hawks) after she was linked to a case of human trafficking.

The provincial spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Siyabulela Vukubi said the woman’s arrest follows information received on December 13, that three young girls had been trafficked from West Africa into South Africa a few months ago inside a shipping container.

“They were allegedly given fake passports. Information was that the girls were advertised on an escort website and were kept in a residential complex in George,” Vukubi said.

After the information was received the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team operationalised the information and a search was conducted at the premises.

“They found four females, whom the Hawks suspected to have been trafficked. The victims who are between the ages of 21 and 47 were rescued and kept in a place of safety after they were taken for medical assessment,” Vukubi said.

Mathunjwa is allegedly the caretaker on the premises.

During her brief appearance, Mathunjwa has opted to apply for bail.

The matter has since been postponed until January 22, for a formal bail application.

Mathunjwa has been remanded in custody.

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