Pray for and Encourage Vice Squad
The Vice Squad are a unit of the Cape Town metro police, tasked specifically with cracking down on the exploitative practice of prostitution.
Over the last few years they have conducted numerous raids on brothels in the Cape Town area, and have helped to uncover several cases of trafficking and child prostitution. They have been able to shut down some brothels for not having a business licence. Trafficked victims are taken to shelters and child prostitutes are restored to their families where appropriate.
During these raids, the prostitutes are fined and profiled but then are released.
As Metro Police, they are only empowered to police by-laws and have no powers to enforce or investigate under any other legislation. There is a Cape Town city by-law against soliciting which they can enforce. When they need to enforce legislation, they act in cooperation with SAPS.
Prostitution is illegal according to the Sexual Offences Act, although the act is rarely enforced by SA police.
The Vice Squad keeps a data base of prostitutes operating in Cape Town. According to Vice Squad spokesperson Nathan Ladegourdie, 1 296 women and 30 men had been registered over a period of 11 months, ending in March 2011.
The Vice Squad helped a three months pregnant woman escape to a shelter who said she had been lured to Cape Town with the promise of work, but when she arrived, was forced into prostitution. Vice Squad spokesman Neil Arendse, said the 25-year-old woman had approached members patrolling in Brooklyn and begged them to help her.
Two Chinese women that allegedly lured women from China to South Africa, with the false promise of jobs, were arrested at their Goodwood premises after an investigation by the Vice Squad.
Both have been charged with keeping a brothel and human trafficking.
The raid came about after a member of the squad noticed an advertisement in a local newspaper for a massage parlour operating from a house in Goodwood.
Vice Squad police often read the newspapers for massage parlour advertisements, because these are often a front for brothels.
Officials have made several surprise visits to more than 100 brothels over a period of six months. They have dished out hundreds of spot fines totalling R100, 000.
Ladergourdie said that in one suburb they managed to uncover dozens of brothels.
He added they have pinpointed some suburbs in which the problem is worse.
"Since we are concentrating on [cracking down on prostitution], many cases that were previously hidden are all coming to the front now. But we have problem areas like Lansdowne, Wetton, and Bellville CBDs," he said.
For Prayer and Action
Please pray for their safety, health and spiritual well-being.
If you live in Cape Town, and suspect that a house in your area may be operating as a brothel, of if streets in your neighbourhood are effected by prostitution, please report this to them.
"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers and intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and those who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Invite a Speaker
Invite a speaker from Africa Christian Action , Family Policy Institute , STOP Trafficking , Straatwerk or Not for Sale Campaign SA to motivate and mobilise your congregation to prayer and action on this issue.
Make a difference in your community
Network with other ministries in your area reaching out to prostitutes and trafficked victims in SA.Visit http://projectcare.wordpress.com/about/
Volunteer or Support a Shelter
STOP Trafficking currently run a shelter for victims of trafficking in the Cape Town area. You can support them by volunteering, giving skills training to the residents, or by donating toiletries, cleaning products or food such as rice and sugar.
One of the greatest challenges in South Africa at the moment is the shortage of safe houses that are willing to give care and protection to trafficked victims. STOP has the opportunity of greatly expanding and improving their current shelter. They have received a piece of land that that they can build on as well as architects and builders who have made their services available at a reduced cost.
The house would sleep 30 and will also include counselling rooms, office space, a conference and recreation room, as well as separate quarters for the housemother.
Victims will receive care and discipleship and, by partnering with other organisations, they will be repatriated or reintroduced into society. This house will serve its part in filling a much needed gap in the fight against trafficking.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." Proverbs 31:8