• Teenagers and alcohol don’t mix. What are parents’ responsibilities to ensure that their children don’t abuse alcohol? We give a variety of tips in our Community Safety feature in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Tennis star Bob Hewitt found guilty 30 years after committing sexual abuse against those he coached. Read the details about what had happened in the Crime Series published in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Sexting – the exchange of sexual messages or images – is a reality in schools. Teachers and learners are perpetrators and it is important to know about the dangers. Read our article in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

  • Teenage alcohol abuse combined with sexting can have devastating & deadly consequences. Parents need to get involved to prevent their children from becoming victims. Read our article in the June 2017 issue of Servamus.

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Child trafficking in the spotlight

By Kotie Geldenhuys

Abby, a 14-year-old girl from a poor family, was walking in the street when a man approached her and told her that she is beautiful. He said that he could open doors for her to become a world famous model who will earn lots of money which will enable her to support her family. She was flattered and, with a promise of a better life, she accompanied him. He promised her a well-paying job in a big city and said that he would take care of all her documentation. Before she knew what was happening, she was in another city. But instead of modelling, she was being held captive, facing daily abuse at the hands of her trafficker. She was drugged and forced into prostitution. Nothing came of the promise of becoming a world famous model earning huge amounts of money. Abby's story is not unique - she is one of thousands of children worldwide who end up in a hell of drugs and prostitution as victims of one of the world's most evil and shameful crimes: human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a global problem and thousands of people are trafficked every year. Traffickers target anyone who can be exploited, in their own country or abroad. It is also common knowledge that some migrants are more vulnerable than others, such as those from countries with a high level of organised crime or countries affected by conflict.

Goliath (2016) argues that human trafficking is considered to be one of the top three sources of profits for organised crime syndicates. During the 8th annual Intelligence Strategies and Crime Prevention for Law Enforcers conference, hosted by the Intelligence Transfer Centre (ITC), Lt-Col Govender from the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) (the Hawks) mentioned that this crime generates an estimated turnover of between US$32 to $157 billion annually. According to the United States's State Department, approximately 600 000 to 800 000 people are trafficked across borders every year. The United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2016) reckons that 79% of all detected trafficking victims are women and children. Although most detected victims are women, children and men now make up larger shares of the total number of victims than they did a decade ago. For the purposes of this article, though, our focus will be on children as victims of trafficking.

When a child (or an adult) is coerced, forced or deceived into prostitution or forced labour, s/he becomes a victim of trafficking. Some are lured into this form of modern-day slavery by someone they know and trust (eg parents trapped in poverty who force their children to sell their bodies), while others are tricked into this situation by false promises of their dream job. Traffickers often promise their slaves freedom if they pay a debt, but this debt never goes away and keeps the child as a slave, year in and year out (www.thefreedomchallenge.com/just-the-facts/#profit).

 

Human trafficking versus human smuggling

Human trafficking is defined by the United Nations, in Article 3 of the Palermo Protocol, as follows: "Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar or slavery, servitude or the removal of organs." It is important to note that trafficking can occur either within the borders of a country or across international borders.

Govender (2017) notes that human smuggling, on the other hand, is a crime involving the procurement for financial or other material benefit of illegal entry of a person into a country of which that person is not a national or a resident. Human smuggling affects almost every country globally. When it comes to smuggling, it's worth noting that migrants consent to being smuggled as they are being helped to cross a border illegally. The smuggler usually does not abuse/exploit the smuggled person and their relationship ends the moment the smuggled person reaches his/her destination. Smuggling always occurs across international borders.

The same definitions are applicable to children. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) (2007) provides a short definition of child trafficking by saying that "a child has been trafficked if s/he has been moved within a country, or across borders, whether by force or not, with the purpose of exploiting the child". In South Africa, section 4 of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013 explains the concept of trafficking in persons while section 18 specifically deals with the victims, which include children. The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 deals with human trafficking in general, while the Children's Act 38 of 2005 specifically deals with trafficking in relation to a child (also see the paragraph dealing with legislation below).

 

How big is the problem?

In an article published in October 2013, The Times claimed that as many as 30 000 children are trafficked in South Africa, while a similar article appeared in the Pretoria News confirming that at least 30 000 children are trafficked and prostituted annually in South Africa and that 50% of them are under the age of 14. The figure of 30 000 originates from an IOL report about "internal trafficking" in South Africa, which was published in 2008 (Wilkinson and Chiumia, 2013). According to www.thefreedomchallenge.com/just-the-facts/#profit, the average age of a modern day slave is 12 years old. During an international training session which was presented to members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units of the SAPS in November 2016 in Johannesburg, this average age was confirmed by Lt Chad Gremillion from the Louisiana State Police's Special Victims Unit. He confirmed that the average entry age into prostitution and pornography in South Africa is 12 years. It can be accepted that the main reason for this early age of entering into the "sex trade" is human trafficking.

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[This is only an extract of the article published in the May 2017 issue of Servamus. The rest of the article continues with a discussion about the factors which make children vulnerable to trafficking; forced marriages and forced labour; when children are used for begging and as soldiers;  and the shocking sexual exploitation that is a reality for these victims as well as the role of social media in sex trafficking. Lastly we look at the consequences and relevant legislation. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

Servamus - June 2017

In April 2013, a 17-year-old girl named Rehtaeh Parsons, was removed from life support and subsequently died.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
"Can you crawl through my window? I will do whatever you want. I want it to be first-class. First-class hotel, champagne and good sex."
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is night-time in the city. Flashing neon lights and soft streetlamps create shadowy images across the pavement.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
In May 2017, the story broke that a young 22-year-old water polo teacher at Parktown Boys High had been accused of sexually grooming and assaulting more than 20 schoolboys, aged between 15 and 16 years, at this top school in Johannesburg.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - Jun 2017

Read More - Gareth Prince, Jonathan David Rubin, Jeremy David Acton and Others v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) and Others, unreported case no 8760/2013 dated 31 March 2017, Western Cape High Court (WCC)
This is the much-publicised case regarding an application by the three applicants supra, before a full bench of three judges of the High Court in Cape Town ("the court"), for a declaration that certain legislative provisions that prohibit the use, possession, purchase and cultivation for personal or communal consumption of cannabis (also referred to as "dagga" and/or "marijuana"), are invalid.
Read More - S V [Bob] Hewitt 2017 (1) SACR 309 (SCA)
This is the much-publicised case of the retired, world-renowned champion tennis player and instructor/coach, Bob Hewitt, who was convicted by the High Court in Pretoria on two counts of rape* and one count of indecent assault*.
Read More – Burford v Minister of Police, unreported case no CA 128/2015 dated 10 November 2015 (ECG)
Background Section 50 (1)(a),(b),(c) and (d)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:

Letters - Jun 2017

I am a retired member of the SAPS and I collect all kinds of SAPS memorabilia from the inception of the South African Police in 1913 right to the present.
I am a retired member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and I would like to purchase a blue leather uniform jacket as worn by SAPS members.
On 21 April 2017, police colleagues of D/W/O Petrus Oelofse attended his farewell function, which was hosted by the Jeffreys Bay Stock Theft Unit.
June 2017 Magazine Cover

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