A senior local government official and his wife are expected to appear in court on Monday to face charges of rape and human trafficking involving two children aged 13 and 15.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli said the girls were allegedly starved and beaten into submission.
“It is alleged his 36-year-old wife forced the victims to have sexual intercourse with her husband in exchange for meals and that the girls were literally kept as slaves.”
Mdhluli said the wife allegedly often brought the girls into the bedroom to have sex with her husband. When the girls refused to obey, they would allegedly be severely assaulted and starved.
“When the older girl narrated the ordeal, she said one night she hid inside a wardrobe out of fear and for those few hours she was safe. However, her freedom was short-lived as the next morning she was severely assaulted.”
The girls fled from the house on Friday when both adults left the property. A concerned citizen helped them contact the police.
Mdhluli said a preliminary investigation has revealed the girls were illegally brought into the country from Mozambique without proper documentation.
The couple will also face a charge of contravention of the Immigration Act when they appear before the Bushbuckridge magistrate’s court on Monday.
The 49-year-old husband is employed as a director at a municipality in Gauteng.
The children are now being cared for in a place of safety.