31 January 2013

South Africa: Govt Outraged At 13-Year-Old's Marriage

Pretoria — Government has condemned reports that a 57-year-old sangoma has married a 13-year-old girl in Modimolle, Limpopo.

Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO, Phumla Williams, said on Thursday the incident was not only criminal but immoral, especially when it is reported that the parents played an instrumental role in this ordeal.

"Such practices cannot go unabated in a country where children are protected and have a right to education and a stable and safe environment. It takes a village to raise a child, and therefore it is a collective responsibility to safeguard and protect our children."

The incident is also directly defiant of the laws of the country, including the Constitution, the Children's Act, the Marriage Amendment Act and the Bill of Rights, added Williams.

"We are encouraged by the fact that the National Prosecuting Authority is investigating the matter. We trust that it will receive the necessary attention and that this case will be prioritised," said Williams.

The Traditional Healers Organisation has also expressed outrage at the incident and stated that the sangoma violated the norms and values of the organisation.

Williams urged parents and the community to report and vigorously fight against the abuse of children, including child marriage.

Copyright © 2013 SAnews.gov.za. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.