Home News Trafficking charges withdrawn

Trafficking charges withdrawn

435

The accused, Beulla Mandpdukudza Maruza and Tafadzwa Otis Nakakurwa, were arrested on December 5 2023 when the bus they were travelling in stopped at the Engen garage in Oliver Road in Kimberley.

Beulla Mandpdukudza Maruza. Picture: Soraya Crowie

HUMAN trafficking charges against the two Zimbabwean nationals who were transporting 14 undocumented children from Harare to Cape Town, were withdrawn in the Kimberley Magistrates’ Court earlier this week.

The accused, Beulla Mandpdukudza Maruza and Tafadzwa Otis Nakakurwa, were arrested on December 5 2023 when the bus they were travelling in stopped at the Engen garage in Oliver Road in Kimberley.

They were en route from Midrand to Cape Town when a passenger noticed that the children, who were between the ages of six and 14, appeared to be subdued, hungry and dirty and were not carrying any luggage with them.

The state prosecutor stated that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions intended to centralise charges in the Northern Cape and Limpopo.

“The state is also considering adding more charges.”

Legal representative for Nakakurwa, David Janse van Vuuren stated that his client, who is out on bail, incurred great inconvenience and expense travelling to Kimberley from Cape Town to attend court.

“He cannot earn an income when he is not at work as a driver. He is a Zimbabwean national although he has permanent employment. He has nothing to hide and is willing to explain his side of the story.”

All charges against Nakakurwa were withdrawn.

Legal representative for Maruza, Advocate Marcus Mafaro, indicated that if the human trafficking charge was withdrawn, his client was eligible to apply for bail as the only remaining charge would be contravention of the immigration act.

He claimed that the accused had obtained the necessary permission to transport the children.

The matter was postponed for a formal bail hearing in the regional court.

Previous articleFamily seek answers into newborn’s death
Next articleMcIlroy denies LIV Golf conversation