26 May 2014

South Africa: 13-Year-Old Charged R50 for Sex

Durban — A schoolgirl told the Durban Regional Court on Monday she charged R50 for sex after being given drugs.

The girl, who cannot be named, told the court she was called by a white person who asked her how much it costs.

"I told him it was R100, as I was told to. The R100 was for the blowjob and the fuck."

The girl was giving evidence in the trial of Dr Genchen Rugnath, his wife Ravina, and Sandile Patrick Zweni, Nonduzo Dlamini, and Bhabha Dubazini.

They have all pleaded not guilty to 156 charges, including assault, rape, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering.

Girls as young as 12 were alleged to have worked at a Durban hotel.

The girl, who is now 19 years old, told the court she was invited to stay at the Victoria Lodge hotel while she was waiting outside a Durban library when she was 13 years old.

She then smoked a "cigarette" that night, but was told by one of the girls at the hotel that she had to "keep it in and not let it out".

The next day she was given R200 to buy new clothes and her first customer was the white man who questioned her.

During the course of the next year she stayed at the Victoria Lodge and another place called the Cotton Lodge, where she sold sex to pay for a drug that she called "wake-up".

"Every day that I stayed there, I would get a wake-up and then go to the streets. I was selling my vagina."

She described "wake-up" as "a small thing that is white and you smoke it".

She said that sexual intercourse on its own would cost her clients R50, and she would charge them R100 for both sexual and oral intercourse.

She told the court she knew all of the accused sitting in the dock, but that she would give the money she earned to Dubazini and once to Zweni.

On one occasion she went back home, but returned to Victoria lodge because she was suffering from stomach cramps. These went away when she started taking the drug.

After staying at Victoria Lodge and the Cotton Lodge, she said she then stayed at Inn Town Lodge, the hotel owned by Rugnath.

Rugnath's manageress Veena Budhram was also initially charged but has since turned State witness.

Rugnath claims he knew nothing about prostitution taking place at the hotel, located in Durban's Point Road area -- known for its red-light activities -- and left the running of his hotel to Budhram.

Zweni is alleged to have operated the prostitution ring from the hotel.

The trial continues.

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