On Friday, 20 September 2019, the South African government welcomed the hefty sentence imposed on convicted Nigerian national, Ediozi Odi, for alleged human trafficking.
Odi was slapped with six life sentences and an additional 129 years of imprisonment for allegedly operating a brothel in Springs, a metro in the east side of Ekurhuleni. Here, Odi ran a sex dungeon masqueraded as a general store and barbershop — using three underage girls of between 13 and 14 years as his sex slaves.
The Gauteng High Court, chaired by Judge Natvarlal Ranchod, handed down the sentence to Odi this week after he kept the three young girls as hostage to work as his sex slaves.
“This ruling shows that those found guilty of human trafficking and related crimes will be met with the harshest sentences possible,” acting Government Communication and Information System Director General, Phumla Williams, said in a statement on Friday, 20 September 2019.
Williams said the government remained “committed to ensuring that all South Africans are and feel safe.”
“Our country is at a place in time where the crimes against women and children are reaching alarming levels and government will not allow this atrocious behaviour to continue in South Africa.”
She added: “This scourge of abuse, violence, femicide, and human trafficking cannot go unchallenged and requires every citizen and organisation to play their role to create a safer place for all.”
Human trafficking, defined as a modern-day form of slavery, is a global problem. In this regard, Williams said, her government through the various pieces of legislations and policies such as the Human Trafficking Act, was committed to ensuring the safety of children.