• Girls occupy army house
• Exchange sex for food
Fifteen enterprising young women have set up base at the Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane to peddle sex for food from a vacant house they have illegally occupied.
The girls whose ages range between 16 and 23 identified the niche market to sell sex to soldiers as far back as early last year when a few of them moved into the vacant house.
An army officer who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation said many of the girls were children of former soldiers whose parents were retired.
“The problem started with one girl whose father was a senior officer who decided to occupy the vacant house when her father left the army. She was once investigated for a criminal offence and released after her father was instructed to remove her from the camp. She returned a few days later and invited others to come and stay and the rest as they say is history,” said the concerned soldier.
Another soldier interviewed said the young women had become popular, especially among the unmarried soldiers. “Members of the Military Police once raided the place , which has since been named Malotwane after the Culture Spears song which pays tribute to beautiful girls from the village of that same name. The girls were chased out but they soon returned,” he said
Several soldiers who were quizzed on the sex for food allegations said that it was no secret that the girls were openly using the house for a sex market that mainly involved soldiers but also included civilians, especially at mid-month when they became aggressive in plying their trade.
“Their normal routine is such that after we have given them breakfast in the morning they leave camp only to return in the evening tipsy and ready to do business. Otherwise they can spend time just sitting outside the house and chatting waiting for customers.
“We have nicknamed one of them 177, because of her dark complexion similar to the shade of the beret worn by soldiers from unit 177,” said the soldier who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A walk around Malotwane revealed the filthy condition of the house in which the girls live, with broken glass from the smashed windows strewn all over the grubby floor interspersed with stacks of dirty laundry.
One of the girls, who only identified herself as Matshediso, claimed she just visited at weekends because her parents were too strict to allow her to go there during weekdays.
“I come here because I know soldiers will supply me with everything I need. I don’t have a permanent boyfriend in the camp, so why shouldn’t I be free to do as I wish?
“It is not only us from the outside who use these facilities, even those girls whose parents are still living in the camp come here too because the facility is free. So why do you follow me alone?” She demanded to know before cutting the conversation.
Another woman Tshepang, who at 23 is the oldest in the group, argued that she wouldn’t know how to survive anywhere else apart from the BDF camp where her father, a former soldier worked, lived and raised her.
“Even if they were to forcibly evict us from this house we would have to find boyfriends to lean on right here inside the BDF camp. We are going nowhere,” she boasted. In an interview the Directorate of Protocol and Public Affairs, Colonel Paul Sharp said he was not aware of the situation, but promised to investigate.