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SABC News: Tuesday 26 July 2016 17:51

[Malawian nationals accused of human trafficking remanded in custody.

Three Malawian nationals have been remanded in police custody by the Rustenburg Magistrate Court, in the North West, after they were arrested ferrying at least 57 Malawian children in a truck.

Malawian children between 8 and 16 years old were found in a truck in what police believe could be the biggest crackdown of child traffic in the country.

Authorities have been mum about details of the case, and media was prohibited inside the court. But what is known for certain is that three male Malawain nationals appeared in court and were remanded in custody.

The trio were arrested in Boitekong Township over the weekend, when their truck was stopped and searched. They face charges for human trafficking, as well charges for being in the country illegally.

At a press conference held, acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane said the 57 children are being kept at safe houses in Rustenburg.]

The case has been rolled over for September 13, 2016.

Still on Women’s Month, on Friday the 19th August, Messina Legal Advice Office Paralegals, Jacob Matakanye and Phale Musi discussed about human trafficking on Areaganeng show and Portia Raphalalane is the presenter of the show on Musina FM.


Human trafficking is the crime that continues unchecked because many people do not know what to look for. Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labour, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker. Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights.  This may involve providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs in some cases and this is crime against the person because of the violation of the victim’s rights.


How Is Human Trafficking Different From Migrant Smuggling?


The distinctions between smuggling and trafficking are often very subtle and sometimes overlap. Identifying whether a case is one of human trafficking or migrant smuggling and related crimes can be very difficult for a number of reasons:

  • Some trafficked persons might start their journey by agreeing to be smuggled into a country illegally, but find themselves deceived, or forced into an exploitative situation later in the process (by e.g. being forced to work for extraordinary low wages to pay for the transportation).
  • Traffickers may present an ‘opportunity’ that sounds more like smuggling to potential victims. They could be asked to pay a fee in common with other people who are smuggled. However, the intention of the trafficker from the outset is the exploitation of the victim.
  • Smuggling may be the planned intention at the outset but a ‘too good to miss’ opportunity to traffic people presents itself to the smugglers/traffickers at some point in the process.


Which countries are affected any Human Trafficking?


Human trafficking affects every country. Trafficking often occurs from less developed countries to more developed countries, where people are rendered vulnerable to trafficking by virtue of poverty, conflict or other conditions. Most trafficking is national or regional, but there are also notable cases of long-distance trafficking. People from all socioeconomic backgrounds are involved in trafficking. Other risks include: physical or mental disabilities, economic or natural disaster, and death of parents.


Is there a legal instrument to tackle Human Trafficking?


The South African counter-trafficking legislation is a key initiative in combating human trafficking, the development of an effective national legislative framework to bring perpetrators to book. A legislative reform process was initiated in South

Africa to bring its domestic laws in line with the minimum counter-trafficking standards laid down for domestic responses. The first part of the South African legal response consists of existing common law and statutory crimes that may be applicable in some human trafficking cases in prosecuting trafficking agents for crimes other than human trafficking.


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