PINETOWN KWAZULU NATAL- Woman describes sex traffic escape after rape and flight to Cape Town
Evelyn Morris. A young victim has shared a first-hand account of being abducted in broad daylight on a street in Pinetown.
A Pinetown woman says she is terrified her narrow escape from alleged human traffickers, who she claims abducted her on a street, might not be over, reports the Highway Mail.
She told OgeneAfrican “I am currently really traumatised, I have opened a case of abduction and rape,” said Nomvula Masango on her Facebook page. “My life may not really be safe cause we don’t know if these people will still try to find me or what.”
In the same post, which has been widely shared both on Facebook and Twitter since her ordeal this week, she alleged the detective dealing with her case told her the people involved must be very dangerous, “‘because they work with police and airlines”.
The harrowing ordeal began for Nomvula on Monday, 30 September, when she was approached by two men and a woman on the street.
She said she was walking to Pinecrest Mall in Pinetown when she noticed the three were following her.
“The lady actually made it look like she was trying to help me,” she explained, adding that she trusted her because she was a female. “Only to find out, later on, she was part of the plan all along.”
Nomvula described being taken to a house where two other young girls were being kept.
“One was in school uniform, and the other was just dressed in a skirt and a top,” she said.
She described how she was left in the room with the other two victims and managed to contact a friend using a small phone she had hidden in her underwear.
The friend, Sbonelo Zuma, then put out the alert that she was missing on social media and said he also reported her missing.
Nomvula also described how she had then tried to contact a family member. However, the family member couldn’t hear her as she was distraught and crying on the phone.
Her ordeal was made worse when the men returned, demanding the women undress so they could, as she describes them saying, “Taste if the goods they got is good stuff!”
“We didn’t undress the same time; they had to physically hold us and beat us to finally do it. The two men managed to have the time of their lives with the three of us,” Nomvula said in her post.
“I became really powerless, confused [and] didn’t really believe that was actually happening. As soon as they were done pleasing themselves they gave us wet clothes to clean ourselves as they made sure we actually wiped ourselves and asked us to dress up.”
The worst was, however, yet to come. Nomvula recounts in her post how she and the other two young women were then taken by car to King Shaka Airport.
She described in her post how each of them was held by one of the men as soon as they got to the airport.
“The guy who was holding me said to me: ‘If you decide to shout I will shoot you and I will only be caught and spend a few years [in] prison and you will be dead.’ [He] smiled at me, so I tried really hard to act as normal as possible, ’cause I saw there’s no getting away.”
According to Nomvula, they bypassed the normal check-in process and went through another door where they were met by “two police officers and one lady dressed in the British Airways uniform”
Nomvula then described how relieved she felt on seeing the police officers.
“I was happy when I saw the two officers,” she wrote. “I honestly believed they were gonna be caught [and] we were gonna go home safe.”
However, her relief was short-lived. It soon became apparent to her the two were involved with her abductors. She described how they chatted with each other in a relaxed and friendly manner, calling each other “bafo”.
Nomvula was fortunate not to be seated with the other two girls and their alleged abductors on the flight to Cape Town and managed to get help by speaking to a couple seated near her.
Fortunately, they believed her and intervened once their flight landed, to get her to safety, but only as far as outside the airport. She then turned to another young lady she recognised from the flight who managed to arrange a safe place for her to stay overnigh
“The same lady then saw a post on Twitter of a missing person, which was me,” wrote Nomvula. “They managed to get hold of my cousin in Cape Town and told her where I was.”
Expressing her relief and thanks to everyone who helped her, Nomvula said she was very worried about what fate befell the others.
“I am just grateful to be alive to see another day. The one thing in my mind now is the two young girls I was with … We live in a very sick world. No woman is safe in South Africa,” she wrote.
She said what alarmed her the most was that the people involved were South Africans and that women seemed to be complicit in these activities.
“I am even scared to go in a taxi or even walk in the street because we live with sick people out here.”
Highway Mail reached out to some of the companies named in the description of the ordeal.
Collin Naidoo, speaking for King Shaka International Airport, on behalf of Airports Company South Africa, said they were ‘distressed’ by the account shared on Facebook by Nomvula.
“We certainly wish her strength as she recovers from the ordeal she has described. For such serious matters, a person’s first point of contact should always be the South African Police Service. They are the only investigative body with the authority and mandate to investigate crimes of this nature.”
Naidoo said King Shaka would cooperate with any SAPS investigation but said he couldn’t comment on allegations of airline staff, ground staff or police members being involved.
“With respect to the alleged involvement of airline staff, questions about this should be forwarded directly to the airline. The same goes for the alleged involvement of SAPS members and should be directed to SAPS.”
Willaim Smook, of Metropa Communications, which acts for Comair, also issued a statement.
“We will investigate this matter. Comair and its airline brands have a zero-tolerance policy on misconduct and crime, including human trafficking and modern slavery.”
“Our personnel are trained to look for signs of human trafficking and share knowledge with IATA and other airlines on combating it,” he added.
SAPS in KZN had not responded to requests for comments at the time of publication of this story.