Police say few missing women and children in Gauteng over the past few months can be linked to human trafficking rings.
However, they did bust two Nigerian men in Randburg on Friday for human trafficking.
Acting on a tip-off, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department’s K9 unit traced the suspects to a house in Randburg, where they were found with four female victims, who alleged they had been raped and photographed for an online sex ring.
The women also told police they had been held captive at the premises against their will.
The alarming rate at which women have been kidnapped, raped and murdered after going missing earlier this year prompted Gauteng police commissioner Deliwe de Lange to establish a task team to investigate these cases.
The head of the team, Major-General Mary Motsepe, however, has said that few of the missing persons cases were related to human trafficking.
“Most of the cases of missing women and children turn out to be rape, murder or both,” she explained.
“We are not aware of the Randburg incident. [But] we are aware of a similar incident earlier this year in Rosebank and Randburg, involving Chinese women who were found. So far in Gauteng, we don’t have many cases of human trafficking.”
One of the women rescued in the Randburg arrests is from Riverlea in Johannesburg, while the other three are from the Northern Cape.
Public safety MMC Michael Sun expressed shock and promised that the city would work with police to clamp down on human trafficking.
“We will not tolerate such heinous acts of crime to be done to our sisters. We will continue to bring down these criminal syndicates and do all we can to ensure that [perpetrators] receive the harshest jail sentence possible.”
The women found in Randburg have been taken to a place of safety. One of them has since been reunited with her parents. The two detained suspects will face human trafficking and rape charges.