Brothels in suburbia: Residents adamant sex is for sale; tenant says it’s a digs

2009-04-17 00:00

Residents of Clark Road, Pelham, are still adamant that there are two houses on their street being used as brothels.

Weekend Witness has been inundated with calls and e-mails from local residents and former residents from as far afield as the United Kingdom, who allege that the brothels have been operating for years and claim that they have seen clients and sex workers engaging in sexual activities.

The residents are calling for the shutdown of the alleged brothels as soon as possible.

However, a tenant of one of the houses claimed to be a brothel vehemently denies that sex is being sold there. She said the house is a digs for University of KwaZulu-Natal students.

Giselle Sykes, who is now in the UK, sent an e-mail alleging that the brothels have been in operation for “some time”. Sykes slammed the Msunduzi Municipality, accusing it of folding its arms instead of shutting the alleged sex houses down.

She and another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said the clients enter through the Pelham Senior Primary School field parking entrance.

They claimed that they have seen people having sex in vehicles by the school grounds.

“I have seen people even walking around the back yard of the brothel naked and drinking alcohol,” said one resident.

Sykes told Weekend Witness that her son and friends even visited one of the brothels a while back to obtain proof. “They were given prices and times for duties performed in the house. If they tried [to get proof surely] they could get someone in undercover to obtain proof? … some decisive interest might help, even to position officers to sit and watch the comings and goings …,” said Sykes.

Other residents said they have lodged complaints with the police on a number of occasions.

But a tenant in one of the alleged brothels, Yvonne Morton, denied the brothel claims as lies and racially inclined accusations as the residence houses black students. She said there is no “bonking” going on there.

Morton said they have been harassed by the police and municipality as a result of the complaints.

“The people that stay in the house are young and have friends visiting all the time, especially on the weekends and holidays. They also don’t have their own transport, so they make use of taxis and deliveries from food outlets,” added Morton.

Police spokesman Superintendent Henry Budhram said they have opened a docket and the matter is being investigated.

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman Ntobeko Ngcobo said council’s investigations have revealed that one of the houses is an illegal boarding house.

The notice of inspection was served to the daughter of the house owner and the owner will be called in to sign the section 77 notice, which calls for her to either stop operating the illegal boarding house or file an application for a licence with the municipality, she said.

An advertisement informing the public about the intentions of the house owner to rezone the property for business will be published in local newspapers and the public will have 30 days to submit objections, added Ngcobo.

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