Doctor 'knew nothing' about brothel

2014-12-03 06:47

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Durban - The trial of a Durban doctor accused of running a brothel with young girls is expected to resume in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday.

On Tuesday the case was postponed because Magistrate Simphiwe Hlophe was ill.

Dr Genchen Rugnath is charged along with his wife Ravina, Sandile Patrick Zweni, Nonduzo Dlamini and Bhabha Dubazini.

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

Zweni allegedly operated a prostitution ring from the Inn Town Lodge.

Rugnath has claimed he knew nothing about prostitution at the lodge, in the Point Road area which is known as a red-light district, and that he left the running of the hotel to Budhram.

His wife claimed she was a housewife with no involvement in running the hotel.

On Monday, Veena Budhram, the former manager of the Inn Town Lodge and the Down Town Lodge in Durban, told the court that Ravina assaulted her because she ignored an instruction to have Indian staff at reception.

Budhram, who was based at the Down Town Lodge, said she once received a call from Ravina instructing her to place Indian staff at reception or to work there herself if she could not, as she not was happy with her employing blacks at the hotels.

Budhram said she ignored the instruction as it was at the end of the month and she needed to balance the business's books.

She also found black staff preferable as most of the hotel's clientele was black and the staff could communicate in both isiZulu and English.

A few hours later, Ravina allegedly assaulted her.

"I was pushed around, kicked, I was on the floor," Budhram told the court.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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