Child bride RESCUED

2015-06-12 06:00
KZN Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi intervened in the forced ‘marriage’ of a 15-year-old girl in Bulwer.
Photo: khaya magenu

KZN Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi intervened in the forced ‘marriage’ of a 15-year-old girl in Bulwer. Photo: khaya magenu

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KZN Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi has reiterated her call to communities to protect the rights of children and ensure their well-being.

Last Thursday she instructed social workers to open a criminal case against a 27-year-old man who lives with a 15-year-old girl as his “bride”, saying this was in contravention of the Children’s Act and the Marriage Act.

The girl from Bulwer, has been moved to a place of safety where she is receiving counselling to help her cope with her ordeal.

Thusi ordered social workers to intervene after the case was brought to her attention two weeks ago and they opened a case last Thursday.

“It is disheartening to think that in this day and age, particularly during Child Protection Week [last week], we are talking about a family marrying off their minor child despite numerous government campaigns educating them otherwise.

“A 15-year-old is a child should be in school getting an education, not setting up home with a grown man,” she said.

“We are following this case with keen interest and will not rest until it is concluded. I have also asked social workers to look into what action can be taken against the girl’s family because accepting any amount of money in exchange for your child goes against what we believe in and stand for as a people.”

“History will judge us very harshly if we fail to protect our children. I wish to call on our people to familiarise themselves with our country’s laws in order to avoid similar occurrences in the future and when in doubt ask our social workers, particularly on matters pertaining to children.

“I also want to call on our communities to stay vigilant and report such incidents as soon as they happen. This is important because one’s childhood can never be replaced once stolen.” - Supplied.

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