Former beauty queen rescued

2017-08-02 06:00
Princess Mahlangu, former Free State Miss Mamelodi Sundowns 2012, has been rescued from human trafficking in Malaysia. Photo: Sidwell Guduka

Princess Mahlangu, former Free State Miss Mamelodi Sundowns 2012, has been rescued from human trafficking in Malaysia. Photo: Sidwell Guduka

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Qwaqwa-born Princess Mahlangu (24) is back home on South African soil after being lured into a human trafficking ring in Malaysia through what seemed to be a beauty pageant.

The former Free State Miss Mamelodi Sundowns 2012 was lured to Malaysia on Facebook after she saw a modelling competition advertised.

According to Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi, when Mahlangu and the other 14 girls arrived they were told by their handler that the competition was cancelled. They were then held hostage in a hotel room.

Mahlangu then made a frantic call to her brother, who then contacted the minister of police.

“The Hawks then contacted Interpol, who in turn contacted their Malaysian counterparts,” said Mulaudzi.

Police minister Fikile Mbalula said that there are more people trafficked into South Africa than out of South Africa.

According to Marcel van der Watt of the University of South Africa, claims by anti-trafficking campaigners and NGO’s include that 30 000 children are trafficked into the country annually as part of the sex trade.

The same figure is used by the Department of Home Affairs to justify the visa regulations aimed at combating child trafficking.

“One victim is one too many and it shouldn’t take the abduction of more girls to take this seriously,” said Mbalula.

He furthermore warned others about the dangers of unverified social media accounts.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.

Children make up almost one-third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the UN agency’s latest report on trafficking.

In addition, women and girls comprise 71% of human trafficking victims.

In 2016 Nigeria, China, Russia, Bulgaria and Thailand were identified by the UNODC as home to the biggest syndicates of human and sex trafficking.

“More people could be arrested in South Africa and around the world in connection with this incident,” said Mbalula.

It is understood that the women were lured to Malaysia to be smuggled to different parts of the world for sex trafficking.

Mbalula also urged anyone with information on other bogus beauty pageants to give their information to the police.

There are more people

trafficked into

South Africa

than out

of South Africa.

– Fikile Mbalula

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