SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

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.

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