Suspected human trafficker appears in court

A former South African National Defence Force (SANDF) General arrested in suspicion of human trafficking and fraud in Pretoria is appearing at the Pretoria North Magistrate Court today.

The suspect has allegedly conned more than 200 young people promising them training and placement at the SANDF.

On Tuesday, the Gauteng Social Development Department officials rescued 237 young people who were found at a house in Karen Park not far from the Wonder Park mall, north of Pretoria.

The man known, as General Ndaba, was arrested by the Akasia Police yesterday after the Gauteng Department of Social Development rescued the 237 young people who allegedly paid exorbitant sums of money for training and enlisting in the SANDF.

The victims, most of whom are below the age of 30, were recruited mostly from KwaZulu-Natal.

They reportedly paid R300 for their registration, R1,800 for training, as well as R200 per month since last year for lodging.

They claim to have been trained as military war veterans under Amabutho Royal Defence in order to be integrated in the SANDF.

About 22 social workers and social auxiliary workers, assisted by the Akasia Police and the local community policing forum, as well as members of the community rescued the youth and provided them with food.

They were all taken to the Salvation Army in Akasia for accommodation last night and will be repatriated to their homes today.

Department spokesperson Mbangwa Xaba told SAnews that they have started assisting the stranded young people with transport to return home.

“The first bus has already left and we are now busy assisting the next group with transport to go home,” Xaba said.

He said these people have been here since last year. The man who has recruited them told them that he provides workshops for people to be recruited to the military.

“We have established that the SANDF does not have any middle people for recruitment. He is running an illegal operation from his house. We are awaiting the victims to lay charges, then police and social development will assist in the carrying out of justice.”

Xaba said the department made the discovery after concerned residents complained about the noise coming from a house where these young people were kept.

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