No calls between prostitution accused, court hears

2015-02-05 05:00
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Durban - Two men allegedly at the centre of a child prostitution ring never spoke to each other by phone, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban heard on Wednesday.

Police could not find any telephonic contact between Dr Genchen Rugnath, the owner of the Inn Town Lodge, and Sandile Patrick Zweni.

Zweni was allegedly responsible for operating a prostitution ring from Rugnath's hotel.

"There is not a single call between accused number four [Rugnath] and accused number one [Zweni]," Genchen's lawyer Anand Nepaul said while cross-examining Veena Budhram, a former manager of the Inn Town Lodge and the Down Town Lodge.

Rugnath is accused of running a brothel with young girls.

He, his wife Ravina, and their co-accused Zweni, Nonduzo Dlamini and Bhabha Dubazini, have all pleaded not guilty to 156 charges, including assault, rape, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering.

Zweni allegedly operated a prostitution ring with girls as young as 12 from the Inn Town Lodge. According to previous testimony by Budhram, Rugnath was aware of Zweni's business and actively encouraged it.

Rugnath has claimed he knew nothing about prostitution at the lodge, in the Point Road area, a red-light district, and that he left the hotel's running to Budhram.

His wife claimed she was a housewife with no involvement in the hotel.

Nepaul questioned Budhram why two men who were allegedly in business together would not call each other.

"It was not necessary for them to call. If accused number one [Zweni] met accused number four [Rugnath] at the lodge they communicated," she replied.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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