Human trafficking is widespread in west Africa, where children are bought from their families to work in plantations, mines and factories or as domestic help.
PRETORIA - Gauteng police are investigating a case of rape and sexual grooming against a 37-year-old-man in Pretoria.
In September a grade 7 pupil was reported missing in Mamelodi, Pretoria after she went to visit friends in Silverton.
But on Thursday she managed to escape from her captor.
Police have taken two statements from the 12-year -old girl. In one of them, she told officers she was lured to an apartment by another young girl. She was locked up inside for about two months.
"The following day we are told that the girl woke up only to see the suspect who is a 37-year–old foreign national, seated on the bed on which she was sleeping. At a later stage the allegation is that the girl was then groomed for prostitution and raped,” said Police spokesperson Daniel Mavimbela.
Police have not revealed much about the grade seven’s second statement, but are revisiting the claim of kidnapping levelled against the 37-year-old man.
“As we said from the beginning, we were going to charge the suspect also with kidnapping. Now with the new information that we have received which I will not reveal but we have taken a decision to charge the man with statutory rape and sexual grooming,” added Mavimbela.
In July the Hawks rescued 16 girls from a human trafficking ring in Kempton Park.
In September another 10 girls were rescued from a den in Pretoria by the Hawks.
The suspect in this case is expected to appear in court on Monday.