By: Tankiso Moshoeshoe
A special task force that will only focus on human trafficking has been set up by government to heighten awareness and education about this crime.
The task force combines officials from the departments of justice and education, police, the South African National Defence Force, National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks. It has been established as part of government’s National Development Plan.
An anti-trafficking leader from the ‘Freedom Generation’ organisation, Pastor Caroline Pitout said there are more than 256 000 known victims in the country and more than 45 million victims in the world.
“We are deeply involved in an awareness campaign with the KwaZulu-Natal task team is because many people don’t know what human trafficking is as yet,” said Pastor Pitout.
A South African National Human Trafficking Resource Line or SANHTRL was officially launched on August 29 providing every citizen with a dedicated contact number (0800 222 777) to help victims and community members.
Law enforcement organisations such as the Hawks recently arrested a Pietermaritzburg woman, who was reported to have posted an advert on the Gumtree website, trying to sell her child for R5000.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the woman was charged with human trafficking.