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Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the police received information that a building operating as a bed-and-breakfast was in fact being used as a brothel.
Mdunge said the Durban Central crime prevention unit and detective branch roped in the asset forfeiture unit in a joint operation.
"When the police arrived at this bed-and-breakfast, they found four men engaging in sexual acts with six prostitutes. One of the prostitutes was under 16 years of age," he said.
Mdunge said the men and the prostitutes were arrested on the spot.
The owner of the brothel was also arrested.
"The minor was charged with engaging in a sexual act because she was contravening the Sexual Act, which prohibits a minor from engaging in such activity," Mdunge said.
He said the police also found many used and unused condoms, child pornographic material and a huge consignment of cocaine.
"The owner of the building will face a separate charge of being in possession of drugs.
"We are also contemplating charging the men for engaging in a sexual act with a minor," he said.
All the arrested people are expected to appear in the Durban magistrate's court today.
The man, from Ezinqoleni on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast, allegedly left the children on their own to remarry and live with his new wife.
Mdunge said: "The oldest of the man's children is 20 years but she is unemployed and has a two-year-old child.
"The other children are aged between 3 and 12 years.
"The children were found living in shocking conditions.
"We are currently searching for their father and will arrest him on child negligence charges," he said.