KZN doctor, wife found not guilty of running child prostitution ring

2016-03-17 19:04
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Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal doctor who was accused of running a child prostitution ring has been found not guilty on all charges related to the crime.

Umhlanga-based Dr Genchen Rugnath and his wife, Ravina, were found not guilty on charges of assault, sexual exploitation of a child and racketeering.

Their co-accused - Sandile Patrick Zweni, Nonduzo Dlamini and Bhabha Dubazini - were found guilty of the same charges.

Zweni was also found guilty of rape.

Magistrate Simphiwe Hlophe sentenced them to six life imprisonment terms each.

Zweni operated the prostitution ring from the Rugnath's hotel, the Inn Town Lodge, prostituting girls as young as 12.

During her testimony, Veena Budhram, a former manager at the hotel, said Rugnath, his wife and their co-accused communicated face-to-face when they were at the lodge.

However, Hlophe continually lambasted her testimony, calling her a "pathological liar".

The State said it would consider whether it would charge her separately for crimes related to the case.

The court heard how Zweni recruited underage girls by giving them free accommodation and food and made them pay the money back by prostituting themselves.

Hlophe said drug addiction was a pivotal tool used in the operation of the organisation. He detailed how one girl was transported to a hotel, forced to smoke drugs "all night and all day", until she developed a dependency. 

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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