Department of Women, Children And People with Disabilities Condemns the Alleged Marriage of a 13 Year Old Child to a 57 Year Old Man
The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities has condemned the alleged marriage of a 13-year-old child to a 57-year-old man.
“This is the worst form of child abuse and a tragic violation of a child’s rights. Girls have a right not to be forced into early marriages or sexual relationships.
“Girls must be allowed to stay in school to achieve their future dreams. Child marriages have been shown to virtually end the girl’s future as it effectively puts an end to their schooling,” the department said on Wednesday.
The department highlighted that preventing child marriage will protect girls’ rights and help reduce their risks of violence, early pregnancy, HIV infection, maternal death and disability.
“When girls are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, they can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families.”
The department said it was confident that the law-enforcement agencies would do everything in their power to ensure that the rights of the innocent girl are prioritized.
“Our wish is that this girl will go back and be allowed to live her life as any child again.”
The 57-year-old sangoma from Limpopo has been charged with statutory rape following the marriage of the 13-year-old girl.
The sangoma was arrested on 23 January 2013 after a villager complained to social workers. However, charges against him were later withdrawn, as the girl’s parents had consented to the marriage.
Charge of statutory rape against the sangoma has since been reinstated. The teenager, who is an epileptic, had been taken to a place of safety in Polokwane.
African News from NetNewsPublisher.com