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Newdeal Africa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


                                      Scientist ‘kept girl of 21 as a slave’
A SCIENTIFIC researcher used a 21-year-old she flew in from Africa as her unpaid slave, a court heard yesterday.
Rebecca Balira is alleged to have forced Methodia Mathias to cook, clean and wash for her while using her as a nanny to her three kids.
The Tanzanian had been promised a £96-a-month salary, but was never paid, London's Southwark Crown Court heard. Jurors were told she was punched when she displeased her boss.
The court also heard that Ms Mathias was stripped of her passport and banned from contacting family or friends.
Her six-month ordeal only ended when she eventually opened up to a friend and police were called in to investigate.
Caroline Haughey, prosecuting, told the court: "She was required to get up at 5am in the morning and prepare both breakfast and lunch for Mrs Balira, then upon Mrs Balira's departure she was required to wake and tend the children, take
the two eldest to school, look after the youngest, clean the house, take the youngest to nursery in the afternoon, wash the clothes by hand, collect the children, cook the evening meal for the children, and then separately for Balira.
"She would then finish the housework going to bed late into the night often 11.30 or midnight.
"During this time Ms Mathias did not receive a penny for her work nor did she have a day off work save on Sunday mornings when she was permitted to attend church."
The court also heard that Ms Mathias had to walk home after the service while Balira and her kids to the bus.
Balira, 47, of Thamesmead, South London, is studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She denies trafficking a person for exploitation and holding another in servitude. Case continues.
THE SUNTuesday, 2 August 2011