Johannesburg CBD: 46 women rescued from suspected human trafficking ring

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Johannesburg – There is a growing concern for the safety of women in the Johannesburg CBD after 46 women were rescued from a secluded room on Sunday. They had been ostracised from the outside world and locked up in a room waiting for the next line of action from the gang syndicates.

Family members of a Joburg woman, who was apparently on the verge of being shipped out with dozens of others to an unknown destination before she was rescued, have expressed their relief and gratitude.

Oxfam senior media and communications manager Isaac Mangena yesterday confirmed that the women were rescued after being held captive in a room.

He said Julia Dingiswayo was found along with 45 other women packed into the room, where some of the women had been held captive since January.

They were preparing to be “shipped overseas by ruthless and dirty men”, according to Mangena.

Julia was apparently abducted last month while on her way home from work, after leaving the Gautrain platform at Park station in central Joburg, where she took a metered taxi, which had apparently led to her kidnappin

Police say a human trafficking ring is believed to be behind their abduction.

South Africa’s coordinator for Anti-Human Trafficking at Salvation army Major Margaret Stafford says cases like these are on the rise.

“There are a lot of people doing awareness talks… there’s a lot of awareness around human trafficking and people are starting to realise what’s going on. And I think we’re getting a lot more tip-offs and calls saying this is what’s happening.”