Schoolgirl HIV-positive, court hears in brothel case

2014-06-09 22:06
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Durban - A woman who prostituted herself when she was 13 for R50 a time is HIV-positive, the Durban Regional Court heard on Monday.

"No, I'm not taking drugs. I'm taking tablets for TB and for Aids," she said.

She was being cross-examined by Arnand Nepaul, for Dr Genchen Rugnath.

She cannot be named for legal reasons. She is currently completing Grade 10.

Sandile Patrick Zweni, Rugnath, Rugnath's wife Ravina, Nonduzo Dlamini, and Bhabha Dubazini are accused of running a brothel with young girls.

They have pleaded not guilty to 156 charges, including assault, rape, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering. They each have their own lawyers.

She threatened not to return to court if Nepaul kept asking her questions about dates and events she could not answer.

"I'm tired of being asked questions I do not know," she said, crying.

The 19-year-old woman previously testified that she sold sex at various lodges in Durban to buy drugs from Zweni.

One of the lodges is owned by Rugnath, who claims he knew nothing about prostitution at the hotel, in Durban's Point Road area, and left the running to manageress Veena Budhram.

Point Road is known for its red-light activities. Budhram was also initially charged, but has since turned State witness.

At one point the teenager became confused about what year it was and when she worked for Zweni. She said she had worked at the Inn Town Lodge for Zweni in 2013.

Nepaul pointed out this was impossible as Zweni had been in custody since February 2012.

She admitted holding a grudge against Zweni "because of what he did to me" and because he would take her bag and not give her money to go home.

The trial continues.

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  crime
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