By Thupeyo Muleya
A South African man who is accused of trafficking four Zimbabweans into the neighbouring country was yesterday denied bail by a Polokwane magistrate and will stand trial on April 12. Raymond Sithole (25) of Chebeng Village in Seshego area, was arrested on January 3 by South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (The Hawks) following a tip off. Sithole is accused of holding the four men hostage at his home.
Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo province Captain Matimba Maluleke said the accused illegally smuggled the victims aged between 15 and 20 into South Africa after promising them good jobs.
Captain Maluleke added that the four were being kept at Sithole’s house. He said in some instances, the man would send the victims to steal and do other jobs without payment.
“He is facing charges of human trafficking. The four men were allegedly kept under lock and key after being smuggled into South Africa with false promises of good jobs and better lives here.
“In some cases the suspect would severely assault them if they failed to comply with his orders,” he said. Capt Maluleke said the man was arrested by a Hawks reaction team after getting wind of the alleged exploitation of the Zimbabweans.