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2022/07/26      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

MPUMALANGA - The two brothers, Carlos Bernardo Guambe (34) and Gabriel Bernardo Guambe (32) were found guilty and sentenced by the Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 22 July 2022 for contravention of the Immigration Act. They were sentenced to three months imprisonment or R5000 fine each. The accused who abandoned their bail application for trafficking in persons case are serving their sentence behind the bars.

They will join their co-accused, Cornelis Johannes Uys (60) and Cornelis Johannes Albertus Uys (23) who appeared before the Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday 25 July 2022 for bail application after they were arrested for contravening the Trafficking in Persons Act, participating or conspiring to trafficking in persons. The accused were remanded in custody and the case was postponed to 27 July 2022 for further bail hearing.

The Uys were arrested on the 24 June 2022 for trafficking in persons case where 39 victims including seven women, nine children under the age of five and 23 males all over the age of 18 were rescued from a farm in Dullstrom during a multidisciplinary operation by members of the Nelspruit based Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Flying Squad, Department of Labour and Home Affairs. 

Further information gathered at the crime scene was that the modus operandi entails that the victims were recruited from Mozambique and brought into South Africa in a taxi for job opportunities. The victims were transported from Mozambique to the border whereby they had to get out of the taxi and cross the border illegally through the river into South Africa where they were taken by the taxi to Lydenburg. The son of the farm owner and one trafficker allegedly met with the taxi driver and paid him money in exchange of the victims who were taken into the farm for labour.