Cops only had authority for drug sting, court hears

2014-10-27 14:22
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - A police undercover operation into human trafficking, which led to the arrest of a Durban doctor and four others, was never authorised by the National Prosecuting Authority, the Durban Regional Court heard on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal deputy director of public prosecutions Gert Nel said he had authorised only an undercover operation to determine who was dealing in crack cocaine.

"I did not authorise a human trafficking undercover operation," he said.

He was giving evidence in the case of Sandile Patrick Zweni, Nonduzo Dlamini, Bhaba Dubazini, and Dr Genchen Rugnath and his wife Ravina.

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

Zweni is alleged to have operated a prostitution ring with girls as young as 12 from Rugnath's hotel, the Inn Town Lodge.

Nel told the court he was the sole person in KwaZulu-Natal responsible for authorising undercover operations in terms of section 252(A) the Criminal Procedures Act.

This section regulated the conduct of the police when applying the principle of entrapment.

The section provided the criteria that should be used by the courts when deciding whether to allow the evidence of the "trap" to be used in the criminal trial.

Nel said he would receive an application together with an affidavit from police before agreeing to authorise such an operation.

He became aware that the case had moved from a drug-related case to a human trafficking case only after the five were arrested.

"As far as I was concerned the accused were before court and the horse had bolted. There was no instruction that could change what had already happened."

Rugnath claims he knew nothing about prostitution taking place at the hotel, located in Durban's notorious Point Road area - known for its red-light activities - and left the running of his hotel to his manager Veena Budhram.

Budhram was initially charged but has since turned State witness.

Read more on:    police  |  npa  |  durban  |  crime  |  narcotics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.