Nigerian national sentenced for running brothel in Centurion

A Nigerian national and his partner have been sentenced for running a brothel in Centurion where he raped women and fed them drugs.

A Nigerian national and his partner have been sentenced for running a brothel in Centurion where he raped women and fed them drugs.

Published Jun 16, 2024


A Nigerian man has been handed four life sentences and an additional 18 years imprisonment for rape and human trafficking.

Jude Ikenna Ijegulu was sentenced alongside his partner, Elizabeth Botes, in the Pretoria High Court on Friday.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the 34-year-old man and Botes ran a brothel in Centurion.

Rape and sexual assault

NPA spokesperson in Gauteng, Lumka Mahanjana, said Ijegulu fetched a 26-year-old complainant in the matter from Rustenburg, where she was held captive and supplied with drugs by unknown Nigerian nationals.

"On their way to the brothel, Ijegulu stopped at a friend’s house near his brothel, when they arrived at the house, Ijegulu followed the complainant to the bathroom where he raped her.

"In a separate incident, Ijegulu bought a second complainant in the matter, who was 22 at the time, from another Nigerian national in Rustenburg and also took her to the brothel under the impression that she would be working as a housekeeper.

"Both complainants were held captive between November 2016 to September 2017," Mahanjana said.

She said the women were repeatedly raped, given drugs and physically and sexually assaulted by Ijegulu.

Mahanjana said Botes and Ijegulu also instructed the victims to render sexual services to clients.

"In September 2017, while Ijegulu was sleeping, the two victims escaped from the brothel. After their escape, they contacted an NGO which provides shelter for trafficked persons.

"The NGO fetched the two women from where they were hiding and assisted them with shelter. Later the women reported the matter to the police. On July 2018 16, Ijegulu was arrested by police after he was lured into meeting up with one of the victims in Centurion. A month later on August 18 2018, Botes was arrested at a property Ijegulu was renting also in Centurion after an informant provided the address to the police. In court, both Ijegulu and Botes pleaded not guilty to all charges preferred against them," the NPA said.

Addressing the court through his legal representative, Ijegulu asked the court not to impose the prescribed minimum sentences for the charges against him because he was a first offender, and the victims were in a homely environment in his house.

"He further added that the victims were already addicted to drugs and that the court should consider that he has been in custody since his arrest in 2018. Furthermore, Botes also asked the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence on the charges preferred against her and said she committed the offences because she was influenced and controlled by Ijegulu because of her drug addiction and trauma," Mahanjana said.

This was argued against by Advocates Adina Van Deventer and Alicia Ross who said the accused showed no remorse for their actions.

"They further argued that Ijegulu fed the two women drugs for him to control them and for them to comply with his orders. Furthermore, the complainants did not have a choice when it came to having sex with him as he was the master of the house. In respect of Botes the two prosecutors further argued that Botes was the “wife” of Ijegulu and took the money that they earned from running the brothel," Mahanjana stated.

Judge Porti Phalane agreed with the advocates that Ijegulu did not show any remorse for the crimes he committed.

"Not only did he violate the Human Trafficking Act, but he also abused the two women’s vulnerability, enslaved them, and subjected them to forced labour," Phalane said.

Phalane said Ijegulu was cruel because he fed the complainants drugs while he did not use them and saw nothing wrong with what he did to the victims.

Regarding Botes, Judge Phahlane said her circumstances differed from those of Ijegulu because like the complainants in the case, she was under cohesion. Therefore she deviated from opposing the prescribed minimum sentences because she found substantial and compelling circumstances.


Ijegulu - two life terms for two counts of human trafficking, two life terms for two counts of rape, six years direct imprisonment for two counts of keeping a brothel, 10 years direct imprisonment for using services of a victim of trafficking and two years direct imprisonment for being illegal in the country.

The court ordered that his name be added to the National Register of Sexual Offenders.

Botes - 40 years direct imprisonment for human trafficking, six years direct imprisonment for two counts of keeping a brothel and 10 years direct imprisonment for using the services of a victim of trafficking.

The court ordered that the sentences run concurrently with the one for human trafficking.

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