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Human trafficking trial: Cape Town sex worker reveals her role in an internet dating scam

Edward Ayuk and Yannick Ayuk.

Edward Ayuk and Yannick Ayuk.

  • A sex worker testified about how she pretended to be someone’s daughter for an internet scam. 
  • She said she did not know what the scam was, but her job was to fetch money deposited into an account.
  • Two men and a woman are on trial, charged with human trafficking, rape, assault, debt bondage and kidnapping.

A Cape Town sex worker spoke about how she doubled as the “daughter” of two men running an internet dating scam from a house off Koeberg Road.

Emma* is testifying in the human trafficking trial of two men, Edward and Jannick Ayuk, and a Springbok woman, Leandra Williams-Ayuk.

The trio pleaded not guilty to charges which include rape, debt bondage and kidnapping.

Testifying as a Section 204 witness – which means she will get immunity – she said that, when she lived at the accused’s house, there were three men – Prince, Alagee and Obama – running a dating scam. 

Emma speaks excellent Afrikaans, so she and another woman would help the men with the scam. 

The other woman would pretend to be the nanny, said Emma, laughing, and she would pretend to be the house owner’s daughter. 

She told the Western Cape High Court that she did not know what the men were up to – but, after the phone call, she would go to Shoprite to draw the money. 

READ | Free crack to stop sex workers from getting ‘lazy’ – court hears in human trafficking trial

She was the only person in the house with a South African identity document, so it fell on her to do it. She would go back to the house and hand over the money. 

The court has already heard that the residence in Piet Grobler Street houses multiple businesses – an alleged brothel, a room to get high on drugs, and a spaza shop. No more details were revealed of the “internet dating scam” enterprise.

Emma has already testified that she was recruited in Springbok, Northern Cape, after fights with her alcoholic mother, which often led to broken windows and the police being called.

By then, she was using Mandrax and tik regularly after losing her job at the local Spar. She said she stayed with Williams-Ayuk, who offered her a job as a sex worker in Cape Town, which she accepted.


Yannick and Edward Ayuk previously went on an in-loco inspection at the alleged brothel.

News24 Jenni Evans/News24

On Monday, she said that, by then, she had already started sex work in Springbok.

She became highly annoyed when the defence said she also worked the truck stops in Springbok.

“I would find someone who likes me at the club and, if I like them, I would go to their house, and leave in the morning,” she said.

The trial continues. 

*Emma is a pseudonym to protect her identity.

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