Man arrested for exploiting young Mozambican workers

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A 40-year-old suspect appeared in the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 16 May on charges related to human trafficking. He was arrested by the Hawks on Saturday at a Bethal farm.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY TRAFFICKING MOZAMBICAN WORKERS

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said a tip-off was received about young, undocumented, Mozambicans being kept at a farm in the Bethal area.

“The team promptly responded to information and on arrival at the farm, they found six undocumented Mozambicans who complained to the police that they were recruited from Mozambique and were promised that someone in South Africa have a job for them,” said Sekgotodi.

The victims allege that they were brought to South Africa from Mozambique in a blue bakkie on 5 May.

Before the vehicle reached the border, the driver instructed them to disembark and cross into South Africa via the river while he drove through the border post alone.

The victims complied and were picked up on the other side by the driver. He allegedly took the six to a Bethal farm and handed them to the accused, Edjuanida Teixeira.

The victims further said that a recruiter in Mozambique paid the driver R800 for each of them.

“The victims further alleged that on arrival at the suspect`s place, they were instructed to cut the grass and during the night the suspect took them with a bakkie to steal coal from the nearby mines and he would only pay them R100 after stealing the coal and never paid them for other jobs,” said the Hawks spokesperson.

The Hawks head in Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena, said the six young Mozambicans are being kept in a place of safety while the investigation continues. She encouraged the public to continue reporting “wrongful activities.”

Texeira’s next court appearance is expected on 23 May. He is expected to apply for bail and remains in custody.

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