Hundreds if not thousands of underage South African girls are lured into human trafficking by refugees in South Africa who have fled their war-torn African countries. Blasting News accompanied the Vice Squad in Cape Town, South Africa and discovered the root or source of human trafficking -- African syndicates operating throughout South Africa. According to the most recent human population statistics of South Africa's 55 million inhabitants, there are more than 15 million African refugees in the country. These refugees are from war-torn African countries like Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, Somalia, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Not all these countries are embroiled in conflict but some are so impoverished that they come to South Africa for a better life. But a better life they indeed get by selling drugs, pimping young girls, and involvement with human trafficking.

Vice Squad

Nayhan Lategouri (the deputy chief of Cape Town's Vice Squad) said the refugees know the South African law and legal practice. They are fully aware South Africa is extremely lenient on prostitution and even on drugs. The South African government seems to turn a blind eye. The death penalty for drugs and murder has been scrapped since 1994 when the country turned democratic. The foreigners in South Africa have carved a niche market by luring youngsters from Cape Town to other parts of the country and from other parts of the country to Cape Town.

They operate like this: They have "nice" people, men and women, working for them and turning the girls to prostitution.

These nice people frequent nightclubs where they pick up drunk or drugged young girls and kidnap them and keep them drugged. When the person comes to her senses they will drug her again. She will continually be kept drugged.

Then when the youngster is being transported to another part of South Africa she will be made worthless by being raped while under the influence of drugs. She will be raped by several men, and in most cases, infected with HIV. They are forced into the sex trade.


Lategouri said these refugees are professionals and know what they are doing.

The youngster will go through a process of de-humanizing. Blasting News witnessed a young girl of 16 when she noticed the Vice Squad late on a Saturday evening. She started crying and said she wants to go home to Durban, some 700 Kms from Cape Town. The Vice Squad then called her mother who turned out to be a medical doctor at a local hospital. The girl was taken to a safe house and her Nigerian pimp was arrested. But a member of the Vice Squad said the pimp will be released as soon as his lawyer turns up.

In another case, a Congolese pimp used a 15-year-old coloured girl from Worcester (which is 100 Km from Cape Town). He keeps her drunk and drugged. And he would stand next to her on the streets until a willing customer comes along to pay for her "service." This pimp makes so much money from one single youngster that he could pay the rent of his posh dwelling, pay for groceries, buy clothes, and even pay his vehicle's instalments. The Vice Squad rescued this youngster as well. But the situation is getting worse, as more customers from foreign countries are seeking "colored" youngsters for the black market.