“Did the Department of Social Development Extend Support to Zheani Sparkes?”


“Did the Department of Social Development Extend Support to Zheani Sparkes?”

The Department of Social Development (DSD) should offer help and resources to all trafficking victims. Did they offer Zheani help?

Department of Social Development South Africa logo.svg


Social grants, human rights, and basic care fall under this department’s responsibilities. If you aren’t coping, you can appeal to DSD for social workers or social grant assistance.

However, that’s not all this department does.


Social Development also enacts the ‘Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013’.

This law protects trafficking victims, whether brought into or taken from South Africa.

The Department provides victims with a safe space, and the needed help.

Should DSD have helped Zheani Sparkes – and done more than investigated the pair’s household life?

Here’s what the law means for trafficking victims.


Social Development (DSD) protects and helps victims of human trafficking.

Trapping and exploitation is part of trafficking, sometimes for work or sexual exploitation.

They co-operate with other departments, like the SAPS.

New documents, protection, and safe spaces are provided through DSD. Registered care facilities can sometimes provide housing to victims.

Scams can exploit thousands of people through one scam (or many).

Social Development, with the Act and other departments, must provide victims with practical resources


Musician Zheani Sparkes reportedly opened a case against Watkin Tudor Jones in Queensland, Australia.

According to news, Watkin convinced Sparkes to come to South Africa.

When the ‘deal’ went bad, she asked to leave.

This was the topic of Zheani’s music video ‘The Question’..

The Department investigated Die Antwoord’s frontman over allegations of abuse. However, the department never investigated a case of human trafficking as far as the public knows.

The Act should assist anyone illegally brought to (or taken from) South Africa.

Cross-border cases are also handled by DSD, together with other governmental departments.

Why didn’t this apply to Zheani Sparkes too?

DId our government ever offer their help?


Sometimes human trafficking victims don’t know they’re victims.

Victims often have an imagined ’debt’ to their traffickers. Jobs and sexual exploitation are the most common reasons behind trafficking.

Traffickers operate as syndicates, using one crime to fund others.

They are manipulative and dangerous.


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