A Zimbabwean woman has opened up on how she was allegedly sold into sex slavery by a group of South African women she knew in passing.
Drum reports that the woman, identified as Valerie Madondo, went to Pretoria from Zimbabwe in 2010, hoping to find work to support her two young boys back home in Masvingo.
She found odd jobs as a domestic worker and a street vendor until a group of South African women told her they could arrange an interview for her for a job at a supermarket in Johannesburg.
Madondo later realised that her acquaintances were selling her as a sex slave to a syndicate that traded in prostitutes and drugs.
Forced to work as a prostitute
Madondo went to Rosettenville for the “interview” where she was drugged and gang raped, locked up and barely given enough food to survive.
Her attempts to escape were futile as she was too drugged up to get very far from the dilapidated house where she and other young women were forced to work as prostitutes.
Valerie and the other women were allowed out to sell drugs for their captors and it was in 2014, four years after Valerie was abducted, that she was arrested by police for selling the very substances she had become addicted to.
She sighed relief when she was arrested thinking she would be deported but her captors came for her and took her back.
Valerie told Drum in 2017 that police weren’t interested in her story and the Zimbabwean felt even more hopeless and helpless.
Valerie at the time alleged her captors bribed the police officers to release her before she could be charged. She was taken back to her personal hell where she was forced to have sex with more men to make up for the money he hadn’t made while she was in custody.
There are no accurate figures of how many women and children are subjected to the kind of ordeal Valerie found herself in, but experts estimate thousands of people have been trafficked in similar circumstances in South Africa.
Several Zimbabwean women were trafficked to Europe and or Asia after being promised lucrative jobs.