Bride kidnappings - tribe promises to stop

2011-03-23 22:08
Johannesburg - The community of KwaCele, near Lusikisiki, has promised to end the practice of Ukuthwala if the State drops charges against those arrested for the tradition, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

The practice involves the abduction of young girls for marriage to older men. It is prevalent in the area.

"There are currently more than 10 cases of Ukuthwala, a practice where women, some as a young as 14-years-old, are abducted and forcefully married to older men," NPA KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said in a statement.

The community, represented by the local ward councillor Fikile Magaya and the traditional leader of the AmaCele tribe, Nkosi Phakamisa Cwija, made their request during an NPA road show at the Ntabayezwe junior secondary school, in Lusikisiki, on Saturday.

"We are glad that the prosecution has decided to come and enlighten us, and we now know that what we have been doing is wrong and illegal. We promise to stop it," said Magaya.

The NPA has advised residents to consult their lawyers "about possible legal avenues" to avoid charges of abduction and rape.

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