Africa 18.8.2016 02:58 pm

Botswana court postpones trial of SA human trafficking suspects

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

The two were arrested at the Botswana border while allegedly trying to smuggle two Ethiopian women into South Africa.

The trial of two South African nationals who are facing charges of promoting human trafficking in Botswana has been postponed to August 30 after the accused and state prosecutors on the case failed to turn up in court on Wednesday.

Gaborone Village Court Magistrate Mompati Taolo ordered Hanamantsi Jakobus Lekena from the Masacani Mega area of Ramatlabama in South Africa and Antoinette Relebohile Nthoba of Pimville Zone 5 in Soweto to be further remanded at the Gaborone Prison, where they have been held since their arrest in March 2016.

The two were arrested at the Tlokweng (Botswana side) of the Kapfontein border with South Africa while allegedly trying to smuggle two Ethiopian women into South Africa.

The pair face a single charge of promoting trafficking in persons by providing recruitment materials, transportation and transit facilities for the two women, who are believed to have been en route to a South African-based sex slavery ring.

Through their lawyers, the accused have also made a high court application for the matter to be tried at a higher court than the Gaborone Village Court.

They argued the lower court has no jurisdiction to preside over high-level crimes such as human trafficking.

But the lower court case will proceed while the accused await the outcome of their application to the high court expected on September 16, 2016.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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