A Gauteng government official will appear in the Bushbuckridge magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga today with his wife for allegedly forcing teenage girls to have sex with him.
According to police, the wife of the 49-year-old official, who is the victims’ aunt, lured them to SA from Mozambique promising them better education but forced the minors – now aged 13 and 15 – to have sex with her husband in exchange for meals.
Police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli said the first girl was fetched from Mozambique in 2019 at the age of nine. After that year, the older girl was also brought into the country.
“The two girls, who are cousins, were reportedly lured from Mozambique by their aunt under false pretence that they were going to receive better education in SA. When they arrived, they were allegedly subjected to rape as well as gross human violations. According to allegations, the girls were literally kept as slaves by their own aunt and uncle in a house in Shatale near Bushbuckridge,” said Mdhluli. Police said the aunt forced the girls to take turns sleeping with her husband.
“She would allegedly often excuse herself from the bedroom and when the girls refused to obey, they would be severely assaulted and starved. When the older girl narrated the ordeal, she said one night she hid herself inside a wardrobe out of fear and for those few hours, she would be safe.
However, her freedom would be short-lived as in the next morning, she would be severely assaulted,” Mdhluli said.
Police said the two girls escaped on Friday after their aunt and uncle went away for a while.
They reported the matter to a “good Samaritan”, who then alerted the police and the couple was arrested the same day.
Investigations by the police revealed that the girls were illegally brought to SA without proper documentation. couple now faces charges including rape, human trafficking and conspiracy to commit crime.
The victims have since been housed at a place of safety. They told the police that their family was not aware of the abuse they were being subjected to. “Their aunt is said to have ensured that each call made between the victims and their families in Mozambique was personally monitored by her as she sat closely to hear all the conversations,” Mdhluli said.
Acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Thulani Phahla said: “This alleged incident shows a degree of moral decay in our society. Adults should protect children not abuse them, however, be that as it may, the law will definitely take its course.”