Tutu condemns violence against children

2014-03-18 22:32
Desmond Tutu (Picture: AFP)

Desmond Tutu (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu said on Tuesday the high number of children falling victim to gang violence and sexual abuse in the Western Cape was "a severe indictment" on the country.

Archbishop Emeritus Tutu said the number of children falling prey to "gang-affiliated sadists and sexual predators in the Western Cape is an abomination and a severe indictment on the state of progress in South Africa 20 years after the advent of democracy."

Life for people in the Cape Flats was a "recurring nightmare" while politicians criss-cross the country canvassing votes ahead of general elections on 7 May, Tutu said in a statement.

According to the cleric, 30 people have been killed in gang-related violence since the beginning of the year.

Rival gangs have fought gun battles on the streets of the Cape Flats and school children are sometimes caught in the crossfire.

In January, a 7-year-old boy was hit by a stray bullet during a gang fight on his way to his first day of school.

Tutu said sexual violence was also rife in the Cape Flats.

"Last month, a teenage girl was gang-raped in Manenberg, allegedly because she lived in an area associated with one gang, but walked across a field associated with another."

Tutu urged political leaders to "stop pointing fingers" and instead join forces "to deliver an environment in which poorer citizens have the opportunities to improve themselves and their circumstances".

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