Children rescued at alleged brothel

2015-11-17 10:43
Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese (left) and Pietermaritzburg Cluster Commander Major-General Lucas Ngobeni shut the gates on one of the alleged illegal brothels operating in the city yesterday.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese (left) and Pietermaritzburg Cluster Commander Major-General Lucas Ngobeni shut the gates on one of the alleged illegal brothels operating in the city yesterday. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - The property of a top Pietermaritzburg businessman was raided by police last week as it was allegedly being used as a brothel unbeknownst to him.

The premises, a dilapidated building in Pietermaritz Street owned by sporting goods wholesaler Poobie Naidoo, was stormed by police last Thursday after one of the prostitute’s clients reported young children on the premises that he believed were being sexually abused.

A police source said that of the four children removed from the property, medical tests yesterday revealed one child had been sexually abused.

According to Shaun Driemeyer, Naidoo’s legal advisor, the property has been illegally invaded “over a period of time”.

“Whilst our client [Naidoo] was aware that the property has illegal occupants, he most certainly was not aware that a brothel was being conducted,” Driemeyer said.

“[Naidoo] did not consent to the present occupants being at the property and has not received any financial gain.”

The police source said the alleged prostitutes were not arrested because the focus was on the safety of the children.

“It would have taken too long to set up traps to get evidence for arrests. We had to rescue the children immediately,” the source said.

When police entered the premises last week, they found four children “naked and playing in the cold” while the women “were inside sitting around a fire”.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese said although there were no acts of prostitution taking place when police arrived, one of the women admitted they charge an hourly rate of R50.

“The owner has been notified and was given 14 days to remove the illegal occupants from his property. He has since ensured us that he will comply,” Ngobese said.

The children were removed by social workers and members of the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit.

Driemeyer said Naidoo reported the illegal squatters to police on three occasions and enlisted a security guard who was “beaten up and stabbed”. “Our client is now resorting to the drastic measure of removing the roof, as well as welding shut access points to the property,” ­Driemeyer said.

Before referring The Witness to his lawyers yesterday, Naidoo said the property was in the process of being sold.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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