Bail conditions relaxed for one of 7 accused of human trafficking

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Chinese nationals arrested for alleged human trafficking and violation of labour laws.
Chinese nationals arrested for alleged human trafficking and violation of labour laws.
Department of Employment and Labour
  • Seven Chinese nationals were arrested for alleged human trafficking and violating labour laws in Johannesburg.
  • It is alleged they trafficked 91 Malawian nationals, 37 of whom are children, into South Africa, subjecting them to forced labour.
  • On Tuesday, the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court relaxed the bail conditions for one of the accused.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday relaxed the bail conditions for one of the seven Chinese nationals accused of trafficking 91 Malawian nationals to South Africa and forcing them to work in their factory.

According to the Department of Employment and Labour, one of the accused, Kevin Tsao, was granted allowance by the court to fulfill his business obligations during the week and given permission to leave his residential complex without hindrance.

Another accused, Dai Junying, was denied amendments to her bail conditions because she failed to submit corroborative evidence, the department said.

Tsoa, Jungying and their co-accused - Chen Hui, Qin Li, Jiaqing Zhou, Ma Biao, and Zhang Zhilian - were granted bail on 24 June following a drawn-out hearing.

READ | 7 suspects in court for human trafficking and violation of labour laws

News24 previously reported the accused were initially denied bail on 20 March this year but then brought a fresh application based on new facts.

They were arrested for allegedly running an illegal enterprise called Beautiful City Pty Ltd in Village Deep, Johannesburg, where it is claimed they were trafficking illegal immigrants into South Africa and subjecting them to forced labour.

An operation was conducted by department's Inspection and Enforcement Services branch in Gauteng together with the police, Department of Home Affairs and Hawks late last year which led to the arrest of the seven Chinese nationals.

READ | Another delay in bail application for Chinese nationals accused of human trafficking

During the operation, 91 Malawian nationals were allegedly found in the factory, 37 of them children, labour department spokesperson Teboho Thejane said.

During the bail hearing the court heard the Malawians working in the Chinese factory were transported to South Africa in containers.

The Malawians are alleged to have been brought to South Africa by a middleman known as "the transporter" who is still on the run.

"The Chinese factory was allegedly processing the inner cotton of blankets using recycled clothing," the department said at the time.

"It is alleged that the company's operations were carried out behind closed high steel gates with access strictly controlled by employers. Workers were also allegedly exposed to appalling working conditions without adhering to occupational health and safety."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Did you register to vote in the upcoming elections?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
60% - 1189 votes
40% - 786 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.