‘How I was tricked into the sex trade’

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‘How I was tricked into the sex trade’

When the mom got to her lodgings, she found another woman living there, she says, and they were then locked inside

Matti Gellman


A 26-year-old Johannesburg mother was offered a place to stay while she looked for work in Cape Town. Instead of being given refuge, she was forced into sex slavery.
The grim details of the woman’s six-day ordeal were revealed at Cape Town Magistrates’ Court in the bail application of the couple accused of trafficking her. 
Nigerian Nduibuisi Okafor, 34, and his girlfriend Lebogang Molapo, 34, are accused of human trafficking. During their bail hearing, the prosecution read the complainant’s affidavit and argued the accused had been making a living off her.
According to the affidavit, Molapo met the woman, a single mother in Johannesburg, and offered to let her stay at the couple’s flat in Cape Town while she searched for work.
The night before they all left for Cape Town, they offered the woman a room next to theirs at a lodge in Orange Grove.
When the woman arrived, she found another woman living in the room. The two were locked inside, banging on the door and crying for Molapo. But she never came.
Instead, said the mother, a man arrived to escort her to the bathroom. When she returned, the other woman was gone.
The following morning Molapo and Okafor fetched her and the three boarded a bus to Cape Town. That’s where she was told she would be working for Lebogang and Okafor as a prostitute.
According to the affidavit, Molapo explained to the mother how sex workers operated and showed her how to attract clients on a busy corner in Koeberg Road, Milnerton, without getting caught by police.
She was told she should only get into a client’s car if he agreed to drive her to Okafor and Molapo’s flat for sex.
Okafor was always watching, she said. He followed her on the street and stood within view of clients’ cars to make sure she was doing her work correctly. He set her prices and paid her with drugs.
None of the money the woman earned was given to her, and when she asked for more drugs, Okafor said she would have to buy them on credit.
The woman claimed Okafor and Molapo assaulted her, and described Molapo slapping her in the face and Okafor kicking her ribs while she was on the ground.
On March 11, six days after she was allegedly trafficked, she escaped and reported the couple to the police. She is currently in safe custody.
Okafor and Molapo have pleaded not guilty to human trafficking, assault and kidnapping. Molapo told the court the woman left the flat after they had had a petty argument.
The couple were denied bail, and their case was adjourned until May 27.

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