Church leaders joined by members from different denominations and concerned citizens marched to Polokwane Police Station on Saturday to highlight the scope and effect of human trafficking on society and hand over a memorandum of concern to the Station Commissioner.
Mashilo Tlhako, acting Station Commissioner accepted the memorandum from Lechipisha Mohlala, Provincial Secretary of South African Council of Churches (SACC).
George Sethosa, Chairperson of the Local Pastoral Council said human trafficking is understood to be a multi-billion dollar criminal industry which enslaves over 20 million people around the world, denying them even the most basic of human rights. “It is also dubbed the second most lucrative criminal business in the world and within the South African Development Community region and South Africa is considered to be a hotspot for such,” Sethosa said.
Mohlala said they earnestly appeal that the enthusiasm shown among the service in 2010 to stem the tide of human trafficking be renewed. “We would like to see sufficient funds be channelled to departments in provinces to aid in the protection and rehabilitation of victims and that traffickers be considered sought out and brought to book,” he said.
Accepting the document Tlhako said they will uphold the memorandum and make sure crime, especially human trafficking, does not occur in the province.
Asked about the number of people who have been victims of human trafficking organisers of the match referred Polokwane Observer to Provincial Hawks Spokesperson, Matimba Maluleke who on Tuesday could not provide statistics.
“What we can tell you is of a recent case in Chebeng Village outside Seshego where four persons aged between 15 and 20 years who had been trafficked from Zimbabwe were found. We managed to rescue the victims and a court process is ongoing. Raymond Sithole, 25, was arrested and is set to appear in Seshego Magistrate’s Court on 16 February (today),” Maluleke said.
Story & photos: Herbert Rachuene