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A 13-YEAR-OLD girl has been rescued from a house in Vanderbijlpark, Vaal, where she was held captive for months and sold to men for sex in return for drugs and money.
Yesterday, Thabang (not her real name) could not hold back her tears when she was reunited with her family, a day after she was rescued from the "hell hole" by members of Cross Roads, a community centre. Cross Roads founder Annari du Plessis said police refused to open a case. But provincial police spokesperson Captain Katlego Mogale said they have opened a "skeleton case docket".
On Monday, police rescued another girl, 15, who was kept at the empty house for about a week. The house is being sold and has no electricity. Its caretaker was threatened, but on Monday risked his life and called the police.
Thabang, from Parys in Free State, had been forced to have sex with men since January this year. Her ordeal started when her stepfather chased her from home after accusing her of theft. Her aunt, Masego (not her real name), said Thabang was living with her two uncles, her grandfather and a cousin in Parys.
"When she first disappeared in January, she had left home with the uncle's girlfriend who had asked her to accompany her to a friend's house. She was instead taken to Vanderbijlpark where she was locked in a small room and was only given bread and hubbly-bubbly. Men were sent into her room to have sex with her.
"In March she returned home after she was freed, but never told anyone about her ordeal," said the aunt. She had been reported missing. Masego said Thabang was only back home for a few weeks and then the uncle's girlfriend took her away again, this time to Vereeniging. Thabang said she was forced into prostitution and drugs. "The man who kept me said if I did not want to take the drugs, he would kill me."
Thabang escaped from the house in Vereeniging, but the people who kept her captive found her and took her to the Vanderbijlpark house. Du Plessis said: "It's sad because when we tried to open a case, police told us that we needed to bring the victim to the station."
[This news story was sourced from http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2011/08/12/sex-slave-rescued-from-kidnappers]