Zimbabwean woman who was caught with 14 dirty and hungry children to remain in custody for being in SA illegally

Human trafficking charges against two Zimbabwean nationals, Beulla Mandpdukudza Maruza and Tafadzwa Otis Nakakurwa, were withdrawn in the Kimberley Magistrates’ Court earlier this week.

The DFA reports that the duo had been apprehended on December 5, 2023, when a bus they were traveling in made a stop at the Engen garage in Oliver Road in Kimberley.

The bus was en route from Midrand to Cape Town when suspicions were raised by a vigilant passenger who noticed that the 14 children onboard, aged between six and 14, appeared distressed, hungry, and unkempt, without any belongings.

The state prosecutor announced that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions was contemplating centralizing charges in the Northern Cape and Limpopo regions and possibly adding more charges.

Legal representative David Janse van Vuuren, speaking on behalf of Nakakurwa, highlighted the inconvenience and financial strain incurred due to the court appearances.

He emphasized Nakakurwa’s willingness to cooperate and clarify his stance on the matter.

Consequently, all charges against Nakakurwa were dropped.

Advocate Marcus Mafaro, representing Maruza, stated that with the human trafficking charge dismissed, his client could seek bail, with the only remaining charge relating to contravention of the immigration act.

Mafaro argued that Maruza had acquired the requisite permissions to transport the children.

The proceedings were adjourned for a formal bail hearing in the regional court.

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