How the girls are lied to

2010-03-21 10:19

Conversation between City Press and José ‘Machini’ Machava and Antonio ‘Tony’ Tavela

How many Mozambican girls do you have?

Plenty. Mozambican girls are easy. Just the other day we had six,

seven, but they are gone now.

Where do you get them?

Everywhere. Maputo, in the rural areas, everywhere.

How many Chinese women do you have?


But we saw more?

We have more – six – but the others have been sold.

When are the next ones coming in?

Others have already been ordered. There are coming in one week’s


How many?

Another two or three are on their way.

Where are you fetching them from?

From Beira. They come on the ship.

So maybe we must come back to Maputo?

Yes, the problem now is the time. We didn’t know you were coming,

otherwise there would have been many more.

The Chinese girls, do they know what they have to do in South


They want to go. They know. They are already giving us


And the Mozambicans?

They don’t know.

What will I do if the Mozambicans arrive in South Africa and they

don’t want to do it?

There is no possibility, because we tell them.

Where do you tell them?

I know my job. I tell them in South Africa.

So you tell them straight?

Yes. We speak to them.

How long does it take you to deliver them?

About a week.

And what about the border post?

It’s no problem.

You can organise everything?

The border is our problem. You don’t have to worry.

What about roadblocks?

No problem, we have arrangements.

I want to show you the pictures of the Mozambican girls. This one,

how old?

She’s 18.

What is her name?


And this one?

That is Alice. She is 19. She even has a passport.

You don’t have any girls that are under 18?

No, but we can get at any time.

Even 16?

Even 16. Any time.

When can they bring them to South ­Africa?

They can be there on Saturday.

Conversation with the trafficker’s friend and associate who accompanied us to


When did you meet them?

In 2002. They started bringing women in 2004. That’s what I know.

They do about four trips a month. Sometimes they bring up to 40 in one month.

How do they recruit these girls?

They go to poor families and say they have good jobs, give them

some money. Say there’s a restaurant that needs waitresses or a white family

that needs maids.

How big is the syndicate?

I know about 15 syndicate members.

And who’s the boss.

Jethule is one of the big guys in Maputo. He’s an old, rich guy.

All these people I know work for them. There’s a Chinese involved as well, but I

don’t know if it is a separate syndicate.

How do they get the girls into the country?

They come on ships and then Jethule fetches them. I phone Zafira, a

woman ­working for Jethule. Just yesterday she was on her way to Beira to fetch

more Chinese.

Are they dangerous?

They are very dangerous; you don’t fool them. They’re too clever.

What do they do with the girls?

If a girl doesn’t agree to sleep with men, they beat her up. A lady

will come and talk to her, but if she doesn’t listen, then they will beat her

until she listens. Or they will rape her.

How old are they.

They are 16, 17, 18.

So there are definitely girls that are under 18?

Oh yes.

How do you know that?

’Cause you can see. They’re very young.

Do they pay you?

Yes, they always give me something.

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