Hotel was 'cleaned' for doctor's visits

2013-09-02 22:09

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Durban - Prostitutes would leave a Durban doctor's hotel when staff were informed that he was about to visit, the Durban Regional Court was told on Monday.

State witness Yvonne Dudu Shinga, who worked as a receptionist at Dr Genchen Rugnath's hotel in Durban's Point area, told the court the manageress at another hotel owned by the doctor would call her and tell her to "clean" the hotel before he visited.

Under cross-examination, Shinga told the court the prostitutes, who were known as "Sandile's girls", would leave the hotel reception and would stand on the corner of the road next to the premises of a neighbouring business which manufactured bakkie canopies.

Rugnath, his wife Ravina, and three other people are accused of human trafficking and of keeping a brothel where children as young as 12 were kept.

The other three are Sandile Patrick Zweni,  Nonduzo Dlamini and Bhabha Dubazini.

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

Rugnath owns the Down Town Lodge and the Inn Town Lodge, where the alleged offences took place.

Earlier in the day, State prosecutor Yuri Gangai applied for a one-day postponement to allow Shinga to refresh her memory of her previous testimony, as she was last on the stand six months ago.

Magistrate Simphiwe Hlophe rejected the application.

The case, which was postponed in April to allow the Rugnath's to obtain new lawyers, is expected to continue throughout September.

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