Human trafficking case postponed to get Amharic translator

2015-05-05 14:37
At least 19 Ethiopians were rescued from this shop at Mentz village outside Polokwane in Limpopo. (News24)

At least 19 Ethiopians were rescued from this shop at Mentz village outside Polokwane in Limpopo. (News24)

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Polokwane - A foreign national accused of the human trafficking of 19 immigrants appeared in the Mankweng Magistrate's Court in Limpopo on Tuesday.

Teketel Shifarao, 27, an Ethiopian, made a brief appearance at the court where he is facing violation of immigration charges and nineteen charges of facilitating human trafficking.

Shifarao was not asked to plead, but had charges read to him. He was arrested on Monday after police acted on a tip-off and raided a tuck shop at Mentz village, east of Polokwane.

Police raided the tuck shop in the sleepy village and rescued at least nineteen immigrants. It is alleged that the victims were transported at night from one operator to the other, but it is not clear what their fate would have been.

Police found them in a small room, with one bed.

The victims told police that at least six people were forced to share a plate of food and were also beaten if they showed any resistance.

Police said the victims are being kept in a place of safety.

During Shifarao's court appearance, the State applied for a postponement to arrange for an interpreter of Amharic, a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Provincial police spokesperson Malesela Ledwaba said the police were still investigating how the victims had arrived in the country.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  human trafficking  |  crime

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