Child trafficking crimes has landed Four persons in court on Tuesday over allegations that they lured kids from poor families in Lesotho and trafficked them to South Africa, where they were sexually abused.
Sehlomeng Labane, 23, from Lesotho allegedly lured underage girls to sleep with her “rich” boyfriend from South Africa in June last year, after being told by him that she was too old.
The boyfriend, Mpho Ramonotsi, 50, from Khapung Butha-Buthe, who lives in Centurion, South Africa, is accused of promising Labane money if she was successful.
Labane apparently told her friend Mamanyesemane Thoabala, 38, from Ha Foso in Lesotho to help her with the search.
Upon investigation by the police, it was revealed that a man, supposedly Ramonotsi, was spotted entering a guest house in Maseru with underage girls.
Ramonotsi, Labane, Nyatso Mokete, 23, and Thoabala appeared in Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, facing human trafficking charges.
Appearing before Magistrate Matankiso Nthunya the four accused failed to raise the required R50 000 bail.
Itumeleng Monane-Ntsíbane, of the Department for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons and the Control of Migrants, said in June last year, that they received a report that two children had gone missing in Ha Foso, Berea, in Lesotho.
It was the state’s case that after this, Labane convinced two of the three girls, who were later reported missing, to go to South Africa to meet Ramonotsi once more in August.
She allegedly promised them that from the trip they would get their school fees paid and their lives would change for the better.
“That’s when Labane asked Mokete to transport them to Ramonotsi’s where they stayed for two nights. After that, the suspect sexually abused them and bought them cheap clothes,” said Monane-Ntsíbane.
Senior Inspector Beleme Moerane, from the Lesotho Mounted Police Service, said the victims are children from poor families.