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Nigerian national sentenced to life imprisonment for human trafficking and multiple rapes

A Nigerian national, Peter Akadoronge (37) was sentenced to five life imprisonment terms plus five years by the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The spokesperson of the Nationa Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Phindi Mjonondwane said the ordered that the sentences must run concurrently, resulting in a life imprisonment term.

“Akadoronge was convicted on three counts of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) , two counts of rapes of adults that happened more than once and one count of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm following an incident that happened in Thohoyandou on 26 November 2017.

“Three women went in search for employment when they were approached by three Nigerian men with an offer of employment. One of the ladies suggested that they go to a nearby night club to discuss the offer of employment. The men bought drinks for them and upon consuming these drinks, they became unconscious and after regaining consciousness, they realised that they were at an unknown place.

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“They testified that they found themselves in a room with two unknown ladies. The room had no windows, except for one mattress that was on the floor. The two ladies informed them that they were in Rosettenville, Johannesburg.

“The three men removed the ladies they found in the room and thereafter told them that they found the jobs they were looking for, which entailed them selling their bodies. The complainants told their captors that they were not going to sell their bodies. At this point, their captors started assaulting them and told them to take off their clothes.

“They further testified that they were raped as an induction to teach them their newly found job. After raping them, they were forced to take drugs on a daily basis whilst held captive. Different men were brought in to have sexual intercourse with them, following payment to their captors. If they refused to have sex with these men, they would be assaulted and deprived food.

“As time went by, their captors started trusting them and would leave them outside the yard unguarded. On 9 May 2018 they managed to escape and stopped a vehicle that took them to Moffatview  police station. The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit took them to a help centre for counseling, examination by doctors and for treatment for drug addiction,” Mjonondwane said.

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The day after the women had escaped from their captors, Detective Armstrong Ndlala took them to Rosettenville in search of the suspects and they managed to point out Akadoronge, who was found standing next to a street light with eight other males, Mjonondwane said.

“All the men were arrested but later released, except for Akadoronge. He remained in custody until the finalisation of his case,” Mjonondwane said.

Mjonondwane said state Advocate Colleen Ryan argued in court that Akadoronge had come to South Africa as a visitor “and chose to disregard the laws of this country”. She further argued that he left his victims with both emotional and physical scars.

Magistrate Simon Radasi remarked that the government promulgated various legislation in an attempt to turn the tide of gender based violence, but these crimes continued unabated.

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“Women have a legitimate claim to walk freely in our streets without fear of being abducted. The courts must remove people that are of danger to society out of circulation for very long periods to send a clear message that our justice system frowns upon such inhumane acts”, he said.

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