Hawks in the KwaZulu-Natal has done another wonderful job by rescueing about 72 victims of human trafficking who were brought into the country on Friday.

Hawks authorities revealed that the victims were illegally brought into the country from Swaziland and Lesotho on Friday for labour exploitation in a factory in Newcastle.

South Africa has been labelled a haven of sex slavery and child trafficking following statistical data which revealed that South Africa could have as many as 100 000 young girls working in underground sex dens as sex slaves.

Most of the trafficked sex slaves are mainly from poor regions in Southern Africa. They are often lured into the country with the promise of a better life and employment.

In May 2013, parliament passed the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act (PACOTIP), which was signed by President Zuma in July 2013. To this, the DA encouraged the Zuma-led government to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

The new South Africa’s Human Trafficking amendments allow for clients to be prosecuted with a penalty of 20 years.

Meanwhile, The Hawks’ Simphiwe Mhlongo says five people linked to the Human trafficking report, have been arrested

“They were in the country illegally. They do not have work permits and they also found that they were not being paid accordingly. The Department of Labour is playing a role in terms of dealing with that issue.

Here are signs you should look out for when you suspect human trafficking is taking place:

  • Evidence of being controlled.
  • Evidence of inability to move or leave job.
  • Bruises or other signs of physical abuse.
  • Fear or depression.
  • Does not want to talk – but always aggressive.
  • Wants to get back home asap.
  • Not speaking on own behalf and or non-English speaking .
  • No passport or other forms of identification or documentation identification.
  • Always hungry and malnourished
  • Inappropriately dressed (based on weather conditions and surroundings)