Cops had visited brothel, court hears

2013-01-24 19:02
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Durban - Durban police knew about an alleged brothel hotel in the city, the Durban Regional Court heard on Thursday.

A receptionist who made bookings for prostitutes testified there was no need for her to blow the whistle, as both police and the eThekweni metro police had been to the hotel.

Yvonne Dudu Shinga was being cross-examined in the trial of a doctor, his wife, and three others on charges of human trafficking and running a brothel.

She said: "The reason I did not report this is because the police would come and see the situation. They would leave and come back. The [eThekwini] metro police even took photos of the girls and told them not to do it," she said.

Shinga said she had been working at the Inn Town Lodge hotel since 2007.

The hotel is owned by Dr Genchen Rugnath, 58, who was arrested last February along with his wife Ravina, Sandile Patrick Zweni, 36, Nonduzo Dlamini, 24, and Bhabha Dubazini, 29.

The five face a total of 156 charges, including assault, rape, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering.

They allegedly ran a brothel from the Inn Town Lodge, where children as young as 12 were alleged to have been kept.

They could face life imprisonment if convicted by Magistrate Simphiwe Hlophe.

Shinga said the visits by police and the Metro police had taken place before the raids early last year which resulted in the arrests of the five accused.

She said when she was transferred to the hotel from another hotel, the Down Town Lodge, she found that there were about 30 women prostituting themselves outside the Inn Town Lodge.

She said that many of these women then come into the hotel to use the rooms upstairs.

She said the women could not take men to the rooms in the basement.

"It was the manager who said she had got an instruction that only girls were allowed in the basement."

Earlier this week, in her testimony, she said Dlamini and Dubazini guarded the girls, but under cross-examination she said they looked after the women at the lodge.

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