Don’t Look Away

POETRY FORMAT, 21 Jun 2021

Dr Usha Roopnarain – TRANSCEND Media Service

A world that profits from human slaughter!
It happens in plain sight,
Not even thinking! Yes, this could be someone’s daughter.
It’s just a transaction, so it’s only money that they have after.

Covered in the silence of the dark night.
Or sometimes in clear glistening sunlight
Children are brought in from everywhere, the young, the innocent
With only poverty to bare, sold to the highest bidder
O’ the laws of supply and demand, never mind she has no slipper!
Flesh peddlers demanding more, this was supposed to be the Promised Land
An insatiable appetite and quest, a world of torture, a world or deceit.
Who will know we cheat?
It’s a trade in human meat.
This is unfinished business,
No one will bear witness, or will someone?
In a darkened corner, the innocent girls sit.
Their young bodies a commodity for anyone.
A trade in human meat, all on a table, where the perverted will eat.
More than their share.
Let’s take a stand and show we care.


Human Trafficking in South Africa

Human trafficking is a global problem since trafficking can occur within the same country. Human trafficking transcends people of all races, religions, social class, and education. It often results in mental, physical, social and psychological repercussions for the victims. In short, a trade in torture and coercion.

Crime in South Africa continues as criminals seem to regularly find innovative ways to violate, intimidate and eradicate human life. Human trafficking is the worst human rights violation of all times reminiscent of the slave trade. Condemnation efforts are not enough to stop this scourge, as South Africa has been considered an enabling and attractive environment for victims.

South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) made one significant arrest. One of the notable arrests is that of the leader of the Jesus Dominion International Church, Timothy Omotoso, who faces 48 charges including human trafficking, sexual assault and rape. Ediozi Odi was sentenced in the Gauteng High Court to six life sentences and 129 years’ imprisonment for human trafficking in 2019 (

In Cape Town on 15 June 2021, a 13 year old girl was rescued from a human trafficking syndicate after her family, namely stepmother and step grand mother conspired to sell the 13 year old to human trafficking syndicate for R 30 000. (

South African is considered a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. The sad reality is that victims are not only trafficked out of South Africa but foreign victims are routed into the country. It does not take the influential or the powerful to take a stand. The world will look quite different if government translated its words into actions. There is still a lack of understanding of human trafficking. Education and awareness is key to understanding and ending human trafficking.


Dr Usha Roopnarain – Former parliamentarian in the National Assembly of South Africa, social activist and passionate about human rights and gender equality.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Jun 2021.

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