London court hears case of woman charged with keeping slave
Saeeda Khan, seen here in 2004, is accused of overseeing travel arrangements that brought an African woman to London as a slave.
March 8th, 2011
08:46 AM ET

London court hears case of woman charged with keeping slave

London, England - A Pakistani woman went on trial in London on Monday, charged with keeping a woman from Tanzania as a slave.

Saeeda Khan, 68, is accused of overseeing the visa and travel arrangements that brought Mwanahamisi Mruke, 45 from her home in Tanzania to London in October 2006.

When Mruke arrived in London, prosecutor Caroline Haughey told the jury, she was expecting to work as Khan's housekeeper.

In fact, the prosecution alleged, Khan treated her "as a possession, not a person."

Mruke regularly worked 18-hour days, and would be summoned by the sound of a bell to attend to Khan.

She was not allowed to leave the house, except to visit the supermarket or for medical appointments, and always accompanied by Khan, the prosecution said.

In addition, the jury of nine women and three men was told, Khan kept Mruke's passport and would listen in on her phone calls back home.

When Mruke's parents were dying, the jury heard, Khan forbade her to travel home, with the result that she did not get the chance to say goodbye to them before they died, nor did she get the opportunity to attend their funeral.

The jury was shown pictures of what the prosecution said was a mattress and a single blanket, the bed on which Mruke was forced to sleep in the kitchen of Khan's three-bedroom house in Harrow, northwest London.

The jury also heard that Khan had failed to honor an employment agreement relating to Mruke.

That document – which, the prosecution said, Mruke had no recollection of signing – described two forms of payment to Mruke.

The equivalent of 50 British pounds (about $81) would be paid monthly into a bank account in Tanzania, while Mruke would receive 10 pounds as an allowance in London.

The court was told that the 10-pound allowance had ceased to be paid during Mruke's first year in the UK, and that the payment into the Tanzanian bank account had stopped after two years.

Towards the end of the morning session, Mruke appeared as the trial's first witness.

She sat behind a screen, hidden from the defendant, who was sitting in the main part of the court, rather than in the dock, because she suffers from arthritis.

But Mruke did not testify live on Monday. Instead, the prosecution showed a video of police interviewing her.

Saeeda Khan denies the charge against her.

The trial is expected to last five days.

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Topics: In The News

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Roger55

    What a piece of worthless cr###! I hope they die of a slow, painful death...I hope they loose all of their money...bunch of bas####!

    March 8, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
  2. Rotimi Wusu

    These stories are true they all happen around us in Nigeria. Greed is a reason why a lot of AFRICANS wish to travel out and end up as mordern slaves.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • sonia

      greed is not the reason why, the reason why is because they are in search of a better life for them and their families.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Muhammed Usman

      i really agree with u, these bunch of bastards are definitely looking down upon us africans. How could she forbid her from from seing her dying parents, this is really unimaginable...

      March 10, 2011 at 5:44 am | Reply
  3. chuka Asiegbu from Nigeria

    She is a devil and a terrorist and as such should be treated as one. The law should take full maximum cause on her.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  4. Frank

    Don't worry people, slave time is comming back to the US, so all you blak motherfukkers prepare your blak ass to serve us again, hoorayyy

    March 9, 2011 at 5:52 am | Reply
    • Cait

      @Frank You are an itdiot

      March 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Reply
      • Cait


        March 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • biggdawg58

      Hey Frank i hope you learn how to sleep with one eye open and can hear really well in your sleep your time is up

      March 14, 2011 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • Frank-hater

      Frank you are such a nice person

      March 17, 2011 at 4:21 am | Reply
  5. Lemar

    The unsung hero in this case is mruke... for withstanding this onslaught of a lifestyle for that long... truely a remarkable feat.... through, like in libya, we see that the human resolve, is a testiment to what we can undertake and still survive.... im blessed to be african american.... im strong then most (smile @ frank)

    March 9, 2011 at 8:52 am | Reply
  6. Lemar


    March 9, 2011 at 8:53 am | Reply
  7. angry


    March 9, 2011 at 8:54 am | Reply
  8. Mada Mamza

    Madam khan has proved very unhuman, i pray the london court will order khan to pay the victim adequate compenciation and should be adequately purnished without mercy or favour.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:25 am | Reply
  9. Aww Sh~t

    Black people own guns now and i dont think that a slave owner or his friends would last long these days they can make mexicans there slaves but not us it would be a freezing day in hell

    March 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  10. Aww Sh~t

    @frank u talk tough on the internet i doubt u talk like that in street u coward

    March 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  11. Borscha

    Don't worry about Frank people, it's not his fault. Inbreeding causes many problems. I don't know...I was always told never to mock someone with disabilities, but are there gray areas in certain cases? The way I see it, it's not his fault his father and sister had an "accident", because, it must be confusing to alternate between calling them dad/grandpa and sis/mom, but who knows right? But then I figure, if he can use the internet, he must atleast have a few fingers and somewhat of a functioning brain. This brings me to my dilemma; over the years, we have come to realize that even spasticated monkeys have some ability to use the internet, so intelligence really isn't a criteria to judge anyone on the internet anymore, but I have never made fun of them. This "thing" on the other hand, baffles me. Some advice please?

    And please, pray for Frank. Remember, it's not his fault.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  12. Uchichi Alphonsus

    Hi,Am from Nigeria,I really like this your programme and its topic which dealt much on SLAVERY. I hope I can contribute a lot on how best to end it. Many prominent men in all the countries are the brain behind this modern slavery, therefore ANYONE WHO IS CAUGHT AS A HUMAN TRAFICKER,BUYER OR THEIR SUPPORTERS SHOULD BE EXECUTED IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY. It is inhuman to sell,buy,torture,kill or even feed on human beings (Aru) and whosoever that does it,desires death (Onwu) in my Igbo language in Nigeria.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:43 am | Reply
  13. Brinda Odding

    There are white slaves,slavery does not discrimnate when it comes to a person's colour.I used to see enslaved girls daily,afraid to even say hello to me.This 'Frank' needs to get real,his fantasy of black slavery is a very false and perverse one.To anyone who feels intimidated by such comments as his,well,don't be.Luckily there is a majority who does not agree with him.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:53 am | Reply
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    March 10, 2011 at 9:16 am | Reply
  15. hajo caesar

    thats just an act of wickedness.

    March 10, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
  16. Chris

    == In the United Kingdom ==
    In October, 2009 – The biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country. The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.
    Nick Davis of the Guardian newspaper writes:
    Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.
    The following links will give you more information about sex trafficking especially the Washington post article and the Guardian and BBC links.

    News night BBC video:

    Guardian newspaper:

    Here is some more information about this:

    March 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  17. Omar, Muslim

    Those making comments about blacks are not only ignorant, but childish! Grow up and SEE the world around you. Or choose to stay stupid, 30 years old but in the 4th grade still. READ and take off all the layers of ignorance that the ghetto or the American city life has influenced you with. And believe in the Creator as one with the power to make this small earth what it is. The Satan has a veil over most of humanities eyes, so they are unaware of the truth. Islam is the fastest growing religion though the non-believers hate it.

    March 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  18. martha

    Frank come talk all that shit when u come visit racist bastard east losangeles california us mexicans and tha black people will be waiting for u

    March 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
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