Malawian children rescued from human traffickers under care of social development department
Fifty-seven Malawian children who were rescued from alleged human traffickers in Rustenburg over the weekend‚ are being cared for by the North West department of social development.
Three Malawian nationals who were transporting the children are in police custody.
The men — aged between 25 and 36 — had refused to open the back of truck when they were apprehended by the police on Sunday. When police opened the truck‚ two children fell to the ground‚ acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane said.
“This tells you that these children were being transported as if they were goats.
“They are well looked after by under the auspices of the Department of Social Development in the North West Province [as] these centres provide support and care in line with the Child Care Act‚” said Phahlane.
He was speaking at the SAPS Tshwane Training Academy in Pretoria on Tuesday where he confirmed that the children were being used for the sole purpose of human trafficking.
However‚ Phahlane could not indicate how long the children would be in the country as the department was currently engaging with relevant authorities such as the Malawi Embassy in Pretoria.
Investigations are currently underway to establish exactly where the children were being transported to and if there are more syndicates.
The children‚ aged between eleven and 21 years were found in the back of a delivery truck without windows. Eighteen of them are girls while 39 of are boys.
The three suspects were processed and appeared briefly at the Rustenburg Regional Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning. Their case was postponed to September 13. They are facing 57 counts of human trafficking.
Last week in Kempton Park‚ east of Johannesburg‚ the hawks rescued 16 girls from a house aged between 15 and 18. It is suspected that the girls were being used as prostitutes.
The Hawks are searching for the owner of a house.
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