The Acting Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, has welcomed the conviction of a couple linked to the trafficking and sexual exploitation of two minors in Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape.
William Martin Tindle Knoetze, aged 59, and a 25-year-old woman who may not be named, faced 31 charges ranging from trafficking in persons, rape and living from earnings from the sexual exploitation of children. They were sentenced to 15 years and 12 years respectively.
Between June 2012 and January 2014, the woman sold her 11-year-old daughter to Knoetze for sexual intercourse under the pretence that he would pay her for her education. During the same period, the woman who was Knoetze’s domestic worker recruited two more girls, aged 15 and 11, who were her neighbours and suffered the same fate.
On Friday, the Stutterheim Regional Court found both accused guilty and sentenced them to a combined 74 years’ imprisonment. On Thursday, Magistrate Ignatius Kitching sentenced Knoetze to 52 years’ imprisonment for 19 counts and these sentences will run concurrently. However, he will effectively serve 15 years’ imprisonment. His name will be entered in the Sexual Offences Register.
The woman was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment for 14 counts and the sentences will run concurrently. However, she will effecgively serve 12 years’ imprisonment.
“I am dedicated to making South Africa a country with zero tolerance for trafficking in humans and I commend my office, the NPA and other SAPS units for successfully prosecuting these two for their inhumane, evil deeds of exploiting innocent children.”
“We know there are hundreds of cases of men, women and children trafficked and forced into criminality and many of them, instead of the traffickers, end up being prosecuted,” said Ntlemeza.
“It’s the traffickers who should be afraid of punishment for the exploitation of people. The Hawks have an ongoing commitment to rescuing the victims of human trafficking. We have an equally g commitment to dismantling the organised crime gangs involved.”
“We will continue to work with law-enforcement agencies to protect the victims and bring those responsible for what can only be described as modern-day slavery, before the courts.”
Issued by: South African Police Service
Source : South African Government