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Minister Masutha welcomes a 30 year human trafficking sentencing

28 October 2015

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha welcomes the decision of the Durban Regional Court to sentence Mr Emmanuel Uche Odii, a Nigerian national, to 30 years of imprisonment.

This decision follows his conviction in August on two counts of human trafficking, two counts of kidnapping, one of rape, one of sexual assault, one of assault and one of running a brothel. His South African accomplice Bonginkosi Shange was handed a five-year jail term for two human trafficking charges, while his Nigerian accomplice, William Ojiaku, was handed a two-year jail term.

Minister Masutha says that this decision is reflective of the hard work done by all role players in the criminal justice system to deal with human trafficking. The South African government is taking human trafficking and all forms of crime seriously and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that perpetrators are dealt with.

“The team that has been working on this case needs to be commended for the work that they did in rooting out savage criminals amongst our people. We all know that they were doing their job, however when people have done excellent work, we need to show appreciation and encourage them to do even more to ensure that we live in safe communities”, he said.

Under the Trafficking in Persons Act which President Jacob recently signed into law, a maximum of life imprisonment can be imposed and it deals comprehensively with human trafficking in all its various forms and it provides for the protection of and assistance to victims of trafficking.

“We have made the scourge of trafficking our priority in line with the National Development Plan and we have put measures in place to ensure that this Act is implemented effectively.

We have ensured extensive training of personnel of the National Prosecuting Authority, South African Police Service, social workers from the Department of Social Development, the Judiciary and officials from Immigration and Home Affairs”, he emphasised.

The scourge of trafficking is not a South African problem, it is a global problem and we will work tirelessly with all the stakeholders to ensure all members of the society, particularly women and children are safe.

Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development  

Enquiries: Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional services
083 641 8141 / Mediaenquiries@justice.gov.za