Yesterday (13 January 2022) the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Letsosa together with the Principal Secretary of Social Development Mrs ‘Mantsenki Mphalane welcomed a 22 year-old (Mosotho woman) Human Trafficking victim at Maseru Bridge.
The victim is the resident of Bobete in Thaba-Tseka district who worked at Maputsoe Town in Leribe. In 2019 she fell for a trap when she was falsely promised a legitimate job in South Africa (SA) by a Mosotho man who is based in Pretoria.
Immediately after her arrival in SA, the man abused her sexually and threatened to kill her when she asked about the job she was promised. Thereafter he invited six men who also forced themselves on her. “This is the nature of Human
Trafficking”. The consulate in Johannesburg Mr. Liranyane Thamae said all this horrific acts happened in front the victim’s 4 year-old child and as a result she had another baby shortly after. It was said that the same trafficker has another victim who also had a baby from serial sexual abuse. He was arrested and awaits trial as the investigations are undergone. “All cases of Human Trafficking in Lesotho are due to fake job promises mostly by people they know”.
Five family members including the victim’s brother came to welcome her. The brother of the victim Thabiso Raletebele acknowledged that as Basotho we are vulnerable, there’s a high unemployment rate and children drop out of school at a very tender age. The victim is no exception given the fact that she is a double orphan.
“My sister left home looking for a job in order to provide for her child and our younger sibling,” Raletebele said. The perpetrators target the rural areas and they succeed because those people are willing to take any job just to put break on the table. They lack knowledge about Human Trafficking which is why the Minister is in the journey to raise awareness country wide. He sincerely thanked everyone who took part in ensuring that his sister comes back alive after a long search for her.