106 girls raped in 3 months

2013-10-24 00:00

IN three months, 106 girls under 12 were reported to have been raped in the uMgungundlovu District Municipality.

This shocking statistic came to light during a campaign against the phenomenon of “sugar daddies” held in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The campaign, organised by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality’s (UMDM) health division and Msunduzi Municipality, highlighted the social ills associated with teenage girls dating older men, who have the money to trick the girls into having romantic relationships with them.

UMDM health official Sthembile Dlamini said between the ages of 15 to 21, more girls than boys are HIV positive.

Dlamini said when the department realised this, they had to look into the fight against sugar daddies because they contributed to the problem.

The campaign was aimed at destroying this vicious circle, said Dlamini.

She said from July to September, 821 girls under 18 gave birth. In the same period, 504 abortions were performed — the majority on teens.

Also in the same period, they recorded 325 rapes in the UMDM area and of those, 106 were rapes of girls under 12.

Dlamini said the sugar daddy phenomenon contributes to high rates of HIV/Aids, alcohol and drug use, teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence.

“That is why we have to put an end to this catastrophic phenomenon of the sugar daddy syndrome,” she said.

Acting Msunduzi municipal manager Dr Ray Ngcobo drew laughs from the crowd of high school pupils when he said: “I don’t know what is sugar in those daddies because most of them are old bald- head men with big bellies.”

He said younger girls were not focusing on their studies, but running after older men because they wanted cellphones, money and to be driven around in fancy cars.

“Some of these men use muthi and innocent young girls are putting themselves in dangers of being under their spells if they fall for older men.”

Ngcobo said girls need to take pride in their youth to ensure that they do not miss out on the exciting stages of growing up.

Participants marched from East Street to the city hall yesterday.

• thobani.ngqulunga


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