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Duo ‘forced woman into prostitution’

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Upington woman "promised job" in Johannesburg by alleged brothel owners

Two men are facing life in prison after allegedly tricking a young Upington woman into prostitution. File picture

TWO MEN are facing life in prison for allegedly tricking a young woman from the Northern Cape into prostitution with promises of a job in Johannesburg.

The two men appeared in the high court in Johannesburg earlier this week on charges of human trafficking and kidnapping.

Frank Amaku, 26, and Ilo Promise Somadina, 25, appeared scared and confused.

Proceedings were delayed because the accused were having trouble paying their lawyer.

One of their alleged victims, and the only one to have come forward, was a 21-year-old who was allegedly kept against her will at the accused’s premises in Randburg.

Amaku and Somadina provided their victims with food, shelter and clothing while apparently operating a brothel.

Between January and February last year, they met Alinah* in Upington and since she was unemployed at the time, they promised her a job and accommodation in Johannesburg if she agreed to go to Gauteng.

The accused then organised and paid for Alinah to travel to Johannesburg.

They did not give her a job as promised. Instead, they took photos of Alinah, posted them on the internet and allegedly advertised her services.

During this period and several other occasions, the accused allegedly sexually exploited her for monetary reward.

All the money she made at the brothel was handed over to the accused and they in turn allegedly gave her drugs.

Amaku allegedly raped Alinah several times while she was held captive. On April 18 last year, Alinah reported her ordeal to her relatives and laid a complaint at a police station. The accused were arrested where Alinah was allegedly held captive.

State advocate Lwazi Ngodwana said that he was happy with how the case was proceeding.

“We have presented a strong case and we should be able to finish it soon,” he said.

Ngodwana said police were looking for other suspects who sexually exploited the woman.

He said Alinah had moved back home with her family in the Northern Cape.

Ngodwana added that if the accused were found guilty, they would face life in prison.

The trial was postponed to August 30. The case is expected to wrap up in early September and the judgment will be heard between September 4 to 6

* Not her real name