Mavericks Defeated in Court

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2012

In answer to prayer, on 3 February High Court Judge Siraj Desai, dismissed, with costs, an urgent application by Mavericks to stop the Department of Home Affairs terminating its corporate permits.

In December 2011, several anti-trafficking organisations, including Christian Action and concerned Christians demonstrated and prayed outside the Mavericks strip-joint in Cape Town.

Like most other so-called strip clubs, it is suspected that Mavericks traffics foreign women into South Africa, mostly from Eastern Europe, for the purposes of sexual exploitation, under the guise of “exotic dancers”. The women are usually deceptively recruited and once in South Africa, their passports are removed, effectively trapping them in the country. Not being able to speak English, black mailed and with no job skills, they are forced into a life of sexual slavery.

This means Mavericks may no longer apply for corporate work permits or “employ” foreign women.

In his ruling, Judge Desai agreed with Home Affairs that Mavericks had violated the regulations of the Immigration Act, and failed to adhere to the conditions specified on the authorisation certificate for the workers.

A Home Affairs report submitted to the court said Mavericks regarded its corporate workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. The dancers were required to pay R2 000 a week to “dance”.

This was viewed as a violation of the authorisation certificate, which requires an employment contract.

This is no doubt why women exploited by Mavericks are expected to resort to prostitution in order to pay this fee. They are also often expected to pay back their flight costs, resulting in further debt bondage.

Judge Desai also dismissed Mavericks’ claim that it would “go broke” within a few months if the permits were cancelled. “If regard is given to its income statement, it appears that there is no merit to this submission.”

Significantly, the Western Cape High Court ordered the Human Rights Commission to probe their inhumane employment conditions. In the final section of judgment, Judge Desai said there was some concern about the living conditions and arrangement of these so-called “exotic dancers”, which could constitute human trafficking.

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:11

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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