Durban Regional Court on Tuesday, October 27, handed Emmanuel Uche Odii, a 30-year jail term for human trafficking. National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said that the 32-year-old was handed the sentence following his conviction in August on two counts of human trafficking, two counts of kidnapping, one of rape, one of sexual assault, one of assault, one of running a brothel.
His South African accomplice Bonginkosi Shange, 46, was handed a five year jail term for two human trafficking charges while his Nigerian accomplice, William Ojiaku, 30, was convicted in the on charges of kidnapping and handed a two year jail term that was suspended for five years
She said the three men had used the false promise of employment to exploit the two victims in the case. Odii had paid Shange (a South African citizen) a sum of R1 000 for each woman he recruited.
The first victim was 19 years old when she was offered a job as a domestic worker by Ojiaku in June 2010.
"Travel arrangements were made by the accused and the woman went to Pretoria. On arrival, she was taken to a flat where she was sexually assaulted and raped by accused 1 [Odii]," said Kara.
She said the woman was then taken to another flat where she saw women bringing in men to have sex with. Odii told her that she would have to do the same, and when she refused she was kept locked up in the flat.
In August 2010 the second victim, an 18-year-old girl, was offered a job to take care of Odii’s flat while he was out of town. She accepted the offer. Thereafter travel arrangements were made and she went to Pretoria.
Odii threatened her and forced her to smoke rock cocaine which had a serious effect on the young woman’s health and resulted in her being hospitalised later.
The victim was also told to conduct prostitution for the financial benefit of Odii. In aggravation of sentence senior state advocate Val Dafel told the court that human trafficking is regarded as the fastest growing criminal activity in the world and it generates billions of dollars in earnings for traffickers. She urged the court to deliver sentences that would act as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.