Three people – two men and a woman, aged between 65 and 67 – have gone on trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court for human trafficking. They allegedly forcefully married off a 13-year-old girl to a 60-year-old man, for which lobolo was paid.
DURBAN: Three people – two men and a woman, aged between 65 and 67 – have gone on trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court for human trafficking. They allegedly forcefully married off a 13-year-old girl to a 60-year-old man, for which lobolo was paid.
Bheki Wellington Nxasana, 65, Nomvo Nxasana, 67 and the girl’s 66-year-old uncle who was her guardian went on trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court on October 6. The trial is expected to run until October 29.
The incident allegedly took place in 2016.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, Bheki allegedly forcefully married the girl. He was 60 years old while she was 13 years old when the alleged crimes took place.
He has been charged with two counts of trafficking in persons and two counts of rape.
His sister, Nomvo, is accused of facilitating the lobola negotiations. She has been charged with two counts of trafficking in persons.
The 66-year-old uncle has also been charged with two counts of trafficking in persons.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said the girl’s mother passed away in June 2012, when the child was eight years old.
Thereafter, she lived with her uncle in KwaDukuza-Stanger in KwaZulu-Natal.
It is alleged that in 2016, Bheki approached Nomvo to initiate lobola negotiations with the uncle for the 13-year-old girl. Nomvo also livein KwaDukuza (Stanger) in KwaZulu-Natal while Bheki lived in Gqeberha.
The lobola negotiations allegedly commenced in March 2016. It is alleged that the girl’s uncle accepted lobola payments from his co-accused.
In November 2016, the uncle allegedly handed over his niece to Nomvo. It is alleged that Nomvo took the girl to a taxi rank in Durban, gave her taxi fare and instructed her to travel to Gqeberha where she would meet Bheki.
Bheki allegedly met her in Gqeberha and took her to his home.
It is alleged that during the period the two lived together, from November 2016 to January 2017, Bheki raped the girl numerous times.
The National Prosecuting Authority further alleges that he beat her with a belt and his hands when she resisted his sexual advances.
He allegedly did not allow her to go outside the house and forced her to cook and clean for him.
It is alleged that in January 2017, Bheki placed the teenager in a bus to Durban where she met Nomvo.
Nomvo then allegedly travelled with her to Bizana where they resided in Bheki’s house. Nomvo allegedly forced the girl to perform domestic chores.
In April 2017, Nomvo allegedly placed the girl in a bus back to Gqeberha. It is alleged that Bheki collected her on April 21, 2017. He allegedly continued to rape her at his home on numerous occasions.
It is alleged that the uncle was aware of his niece’s living arrangements, both in Gqeberha and in Bizana.
The girl was ultimately rescued by Bheki’s stepdaughter as she allegedly helped her to escape from him.
The teenager reported the matter to the police on April 24, 2017.
Bheki was arrested on the following day. Nomvo and the uncle were arrested on September 11, 2017.