Prostituted girls’ parents not found
Nivashni Nair Published:Jun 18, 2008
Fears that two youngsters will return to the streets
Their parents did not try to find them and it seems the only person who wanted them was the pimp who sold them.
Durban police have not found the parents of two girls, aged between eight and 12, whom they rescued two weeks ago. A man had allegedly been selling them on the city’s notorious Mahatma Gandhi Road (formerly Point Road) for sex.
A 35-year-old man, who has been arrested, allegedly paid them R300 of the R1000 he charged their customers.
The girls lived on the streets and the police have not established where they come from.
They are being cared for at a safe house but, according to those who assist street children, the likelihood of the girls returning to the streets is high.
Vusi Khoza, of the non-government organisation Street Children Operation Siza, said he would not be surprised if the girls ran away from the safe house.
“Right now, these two little girls do not realise that they have been saved — they feel like they are being punished. One has to understand the mentality of a street child to understand why they run away,” he said.
“Most often, these children run away from home because there are rules there. Now these girls are back in a situation where, at the safe house, they are guided by rules.”
“ Once they have to fend for themselves, they become vulnerable and are exploited. This is when they become drug runners and prostitutes and resort to other crimes. It is shocking that they are as young as eight years old,” Khoza said.
“I am almost certain that these girls are missing the friends they bonded with on the streets and they also miss the money they were getting from the pimp.
“When they are older, they will understand that they were exploited but right now I doubt they realise how this has affected their future. Luckily, there are people out there who can help them.”
Durban police spokesman Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu confirmed that the police were trying to track down the girls’ parents and that a man is in custody pending a court appearance. T he man was on parole after being convicted of a drug-related crime.