Businessman’s massive fine

Property owner Peter John Dick appeared briefly in the Magistrate’s Court where he pleaded guilty to operating a brothel, accepting a fine of R250 000, of which R100 000 must be paid to the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
Represented by advocates Christo Van Schalkwyk and Brad Osborne, Dick admitted to the charge saying the business property had initially been a bed and breakfast establishment but that the facility had experienced difficult financial times. He said over time more and more women had rented the rooms that they used to conduct business related to sexual activities.
Dick’s arrest follows a CBD-wide campaign headed by Colonel Sunil Maharaj and his detective team from Loop Street Police Station against the proliferation of prostitution.
Meanwhile, enraged Pelham residents marched to a property in the area which they allege is operating as a brothel. The situation became volatile when the residents camped outside the home on Thursday evening, requesting the tenant to vacate the premises. Several residents said they have spotted girls wearing “skimpy” outfits and vehicles entering and exiting the property at all of hours of the day and night.
“We also noticed that there are lots of young girls, some who look like teenagers, living in the house. There are many old men visiting there,” said a resident.
In April 2017, Public Eye reported that Scottsville Extension residents formed a petition against the operation of an alleged brothel from a home in the area. The home was later evacuated after community protest.
SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the clamp down will continue on establishments running illegal activities.
Ngobese urged whistle-blowers, in communities with suspicious activity linked to prostitution, to contact the police. “Prostitution needs to be nipped in the bud as in most cases the young women prostituting themselves are held against their will and violated.” He said prostitution is the root of many other crimes, such as drug use and violence against women and children.
“When prostitution and brothels are closed down, it will be a step towards eradicating crime in the city,” concluded Ngobese.

  AUTHOR
Bongeka Sibisi
Journalist

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