Hawks hail long jail sentences

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

Hawks hail long jail sentences in horrific human trafficking case

Man, his mother and the aunt of young girl get a collective 80 years in prison. Hawks’ boss says judgement is ‘far-reaching’.

Hawks hail long jail sentences

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

Police have welcomed what they call “ground-breaking” and “far-reaching” judgements in relation to human trafficking, more formerly known as Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

This follows a collective 80 years’ imprisonment on charges of rape and human trafficking handed down by the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town to a man, his mother and the aunt of his victim.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Lieutenant General, Godfrey Lebeya, said the judgment reinforces the Directorate’s commitment in the fight against gender-based violence, particularly the rising crimes against women and children.

Charges included trafficking, kidnapping and assault

The court convicted Malibongwe Gudwana (36), his Mother Thandiwe (57) and the 14 year-old victim’s Aunt (39), who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim. Their conviction stems from several charges including kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Malibongwe was convicted of rape, human trafficking, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to 55 years imprisonment: 25 years for rape, 25 years for human trafficking, three years for kidnapping and two years for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The sentences are to run concurrently. Thus, he will serve 25 years imprisonment.

His mother, Thandiwe Gudwana, was convicted of human trafficking and kidnapping. She was sentenced to 10 years for human trafficking and three years for kidnapping. The court ordered her sentences to run concurrently and she will therefore effectively serve 10 years behind bars.

The aunt was convicted on human trafficking only, and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

Aunt sent girl from Eastern Cape to Cape Town

The Hawks investigators told the court that the 14-year-old girl was trafficked from Mount Fletcher in the Eastern Cape in December 2011. After losing her father, her aunt treated the girl badly and told her that she was sending her to Malibongwe in Cape Town, who was looking for a wife.

The girl protested that she did not want to go to Cape Town and that she was too young to be married. Despite this, the aunt put her in a taxi, instructed the taxi driver not to let her off anywhere except Philippi, and gave the driver Malibonge’s cellular phone number.

She arrived in Philippi and met Malibongwe and his mother at the taxi rank. After they arrived at the house, the mother pointed out Malibongwe’s bedroom and told the girl that she would sleep with her son. She told her there was an arranged marriage.

Convicted man had paid for victim’s father’s funeral

The girl protested again that she did not want to be married and wanted to go home. Malibongwe told the victim that he had paid for her father’s funeral. In the period between December 2011 and January 2012 he demanded sex, beat her up, undressed her and raped her.

The victim subsequently managed to persuade the man and his mother to allow her to register at a school in Philippi, where she reported her situation to school authorities towards the end of January 2012.

She was then taken to a safe house and the matter was reported to the Hawks, resulting in the arrest of the trio.