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220 youths rescued from suspected human trafficking ring in Tshwane

It’s understood the large group had been living at a house owned by a man who collected R300 from them.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - There's been a major breakthrough in a suspected human trafficking ring in Tshwane.

The Gauteng Social Development Department says it has rescued 220 young people who were left stranded in Akasia in northern Pretoria, allegedly by a man who had promised them employment.

It’s understood the large group had been living at a house owned by the man, who had promised them training and employment.

Department spokesperson Mbangwa Xaba says a team is helping the displaced people return to their respective homes.

Xaba says the department is still investigating.

“At the moment we have 220 people who are said to have been at that house so who need to be moved and reunified with their families. So that’s what we’re doing at this stage. The story is developing.”

Police say a man accused of trafficking the young people has accused the large group of vandalising his house and is now laying charges against them at the Akasia Police Station.

The Social Development Department says it rescued group on Tuesday morning after they were left stranded by the man who had allegedly promised them training and employment.

It’s understood the people have travelled from different provinces in search of jobs.

Xaba says the large group is now being assessed by social workers.

“At the moment there are about 220 people that are currently being assessed by social workers. We trust and hope that a clearer picture will develop as the day goes by.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story identified the area in which the displaced people were found as 'Wonder Park'. This has been amended to reflect that the area is in fact called Akasia.

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