A 38-year-old man has been denied bail in the Kimberley District Court in the Northern Cape, where he faces an array of charges, including human trafficking.
Adeyefa Adedamola Adetoye, 38, was arrested after an intelligence-driven multi-disciplinary operation led by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks), Organised Crime, Intelligence, and other specialised units within the South African Police Service (SAPS) after the law enforcement agencies received information regarding the accused’s transgressions on Sunday, October 15.
At the time, Northern Cape Hawks spokesperson, Warrant Officer Nomthandazo Mnisi said the team received information about victims suspected of being trafficked, aged between 17 and 29.
“Information was received by the team regarding suspected victims of trafficking in persons, aged between 17 and 29, on Sunday, October 15, 2023.
“Victims were allegedly lured from Gauteng to the Northern Cape during the month of October 2023 and were promised a better life by the perpetrator. They were locked up at SUN1 Kimberley and were used for prostitution,” Mnisi said.
The operation was conducted at the SUN1 hotel, and the victims were rescued.
Mnisi said the team also found mandrax tables, crystal methamphetamine (tik), cellphones, as well as documentation, which were confiscated.
Adetoye faces charges of human trafficking, assault, rape, compelled rape, possession of illegal drugs, and being an illegal immigrant.
The provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mojalefa Senokoatsane, said during the bail application, the court heard Adetoye is from Nigeria and does not have legal papers to be in South Africa, as his permit expired in 2018.
“The court also heard how the victims were lured by the accused and trafficked and exploited for sex work from one place to another,” Senokoatsane said.
The NPA welcomed the court’s decision to deny Adetoye bail, especially as the country observes 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.
The investigation led by the Hawks continues in this matter.
The matter has been postponed until January 30, 2024, and Adetoye has been remanded in custody.
The victims are being held in a place of safety.