Witness accused in Durban brothel trial

2013-01-25 22:10
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Durban - A woman working as a receptionist in a Durban lodge allegedly used as a brothel was on Friday accused of having been involved in illegal activities.

Defence attorney Ashika Ramdularay told the Durban Regional Court that Dudu Shinga suggested in her evidence that she was involved in the activities that took place at Inn Town lodge.

Shinga denied this, saying that her job was to book guests in at the lodge.

She was being cross-examined by Ramdularay in the trial of five people accused of human trafficking and keeping a brothel.

The accused are medical doctor Genchen Ragnath, 58, his 47-year-old wife Ravina, and three men - Sandile Patrick Zweni, 36, Nonduzo Dlamini, 24, and Bhabha Dubazini, 29.

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

The five allegedly ran a brothel in Durban where children as young as 12 were kept. Zweni, Dlamini, and Dubazana were arrested along with a fourth person in February last year.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Ramdularay asked Shinga if in her statement she mentioned that she was responsible for booking the girls rooms at the lodge.

She said she could not remember.

Shinga said she knew the activities in the lodge were illegal because girls were entering the lodge with men and selling their bodies.

She said she did not know the lodge was not licensed to sell alcohol, but there was a time when police arrested someone and confiscated alcohol.

Asked why she continued selling alcohol after the arrest, she said she never questioned the selling of alcohol and did as she was told.

Ramdularay submitted that Shinga was being evasive and fabricating information when she was asked why the lodge’s books were in arrears.

At first she said Zweni had made an arrangement with the manageress Veena Budhram to pay the money he owed.

She then later said she did not know whether the arrangement was made between Budram, Zweni and the owner of the lodge.

Ramdularay said Shinga was lying and trying to implicate his client (Ragnath). The lodge was owned by Ragnath.

The trial adjourned for 26 February.

- SAPA

Read more on:    durban
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