Cousins Edward and Yannick Ayuk in hot water for trafficking women to work as sex slaves in Cape Town

After years of delays and a grueling trial, the Milnerton trio accused of human trafficking and forcing women into prostitution will finally learn their fate today at the Western Cape High Court. 

The case, which began in November 2011, has seen Cameroonian cousins Edward and Yannick Ayuk face over 40 charges, including rape, kidnapping, assault, and running a brothel in Milnerton.

Edward’s wife, Leandre Williams, is a co-accused in the case.

The state alleged that the Ayuk cousins, along with Leandre, lured vulnerable women from Springbok and East London to Cape Town under false pretences, trapping them in a web of exploitation and abuse. 

Harrowing testimonies from the victims painted a grim picture of their ordeal, detailing drug abuse, beatings, and the harsh realities of working as sex workers on the streets of Cape Town.

Leandre, taking the stand in her own defense, denied the trafficking charges.

While admitting to being a sex worker herself, she claimed that many women in Springbok engaged in prostitution voluntarily.

She argued that the only difference was the setting – nightclubs in Springbok versus street work in Cape Town.

The defense, led by Advocate Bash Sibda, successfully argued for Yannick’s acquittal on 27 charges, asserting that the state failed to present sufficient evidence. Judge Alma De Wet subsequently acquitted Edward of four counts of rape.

Adding another layer of complexity to the case, the cousins claimed that a corrupt police officer, operating as a pimp in the area, conspired with other officers to orchestrate their arrest.

After extensive testimonies and legal arguments, Judge De Wet is set to deliver her verdict today, bringing an end to this long and arduous legal battle. 

The judgment will have significant implications, not just for the accused trio, but also for the victims seeking justice and closure after years of exploitation and trauma. 

The outcome will also send a strong message about the South African justice system’s commitment to combating human trafficking and protecting vulnerable women from exploitation.

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