Table View brothel suspects back in the dock

Ten people accused of running a brothel in Cape Town made a brief appearance in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

The suspects, who are also accused of kidnapping, the trafficking of minors and extorting two clients of almost R3m, appeared for a pre-trial conference, where their case was postponed to November 2.

There were hopes that some of the accused would enter into plea and sentencing agreements with the State.

Juan Francois Warren, Shantelle Reyneke-Bridger, Camilla Amelia de Waal Roussouw, Fareez Allie, Achmat Toffa, Shantelle's son Robin Reyneke, Babalwa Nozigqwaba, Norman Edwin Bridger, Michael D'Oliveira and Natasha Chang were arrested in a series of raids in Parklands, Table View and Milnerton early in 2017.

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Prosecutor Helene Booysen intends to prosecute the accused in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

They are alleged to have been part of an "enterprise" which allegedly kidnapped two South African girls under the age of 18 and trafficked them. It is also alleged that they kidnapped a woman for sexual purposes.

The girls, who come from a background of extreme poverty, are understood to be in a safehouse now.

Some members of the "enterprise" are alleged to have spotted them and recruited them, giving them makeovers, and making them work for them.

'Debt bondage'

They were allegedly advertised online under "Sex Traders" and "Glamour Girls", according to a summary of the charges and two of the accused allegedly made or confirmed their bookings with clients.

The cash-only enterprise gave the girls and the woman a small amount of the money they had earned and gave them drugs, it is further alleged. If a client complained about one of the girls or the woman, money was withheld or deducted from their earnings.

The girls and the woman found themselves in "debt bondage" because of all the money allegedly deducted from their earnings and the money they owed.

Four of the accused also allegedly extorted R2.8m from a client over four years, getting him to pay the money into a number of the accused's bank accounts to keep his sex secrets safe.

Another man, who was also threatened with the exposure of videos and photos of him with sex workers, paid R40 000, according to the allegations.

Toffa and Allie are not strangers to the dock. They were charged alongside Willem Frederick John Coetzer, with the murder of gay nightclub owner Bruno Bronn. Bronn was strangled in his Sea Point home in February 2012.

In 2014, the Western Cape High Court sentenced Coetzer to life imprisonment for the murder. Toffa and Allie were acquitted of the murder and robbery charges.

Toffa was convicted of theft after the court found he had benefitted from the sale of Bronn's possessions after the murder.