Authorities save teen from forced marriage

2012-12-03 22:11

Johannesburg - A KwaZulu-Natal teenager has been taken from her parents who were allegedly planning to marry her off to an older man, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said on Monday.

"The department of social welfare has removed the child, 14, from her home until such time that a social worker... has ascertained the safety of the child," the CGE said in a statement.

"In terms of both the Sexual Offences Act and the Children's Act, the CGE pointed out to both the parents and the suitor that should this marriage proceed, they would be arrested and prosecuted."

The commission received a anonymous complaint in November that the teenager, from KwaMthandeni, was to marry a man older than 40 on 16 December.

The girl would replace her 20-year-old sister, who had been chosen by the man.

"Upon finding [out] that she is pregnant by another man, the sister ran off... The suitor and [her] family agreed that the younger sister should take her place," the CGE said.

A team of social workers and policemen verified the story, found the child and spoke to the family and the suitor about calling off the marriage.

"The family and suitor confirmed that the man had paid R29 500 towards lobola and wanted either his money back or another girl."

Rituals had been done and the wedding day had been arranged.

"The girl's family said they were not very keen to marry the child off, but religious leaders from their church put pressure on them," the CGE said.

"The girl's mother said, as a woman, she did not have much say in the matter," it said.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-12-03 22:26

    Religion? Customs? Traditions? Pathetic psychological enslavement in every way, and all of it should be made illegal. Period.

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-12-03 22:50

      I couldn't agree more, Glen. Can't believe this still happens in this day and age. If only the parents and the 'groom' could be charged with something.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-04 00:32

      Hear, hear. We live in a free and democratic society which cannot co-exist with barbaric ancient customs. Don't care how traditional they are. We live in 2013 with a Constitution that guarantees the rights of ALL citizens. This concept of owning women, trading women for cattle, raping and punishing women for failing to bow down to men, is a crime against humanity. ANC/WL, COSATU etc - where is your voice? Where is your outrage? This is enslavement, torture and murder. Your silence speaks volumes.

      Lyndatjie - 2012-12-04 05:08

      This is child trafficking to a pedaphile..... nothing else!

      grootrot.vanzyl - 2012-12-04 06:06

      Let us hear Zuma or Xingwana speak out against this tradition!

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-12-04 06:43

      Was that jacob looking for new girls?

      morne.demeillon - 2012-12-04 07:00

      Isn't this African culture (way)?

  • godrick.mlambo - 2012-12-03 22:34

    Respect ur children guys, they really have choice. After all it's their lives.....

  • godrick.mlambo - 2012-12-03 22:34

    Respect ur children guys, they really have choice. After all it's their lives.....

  • godrick.mlambo - 2012-12-03 22:39

    Giving birth with ulterior motive to make profit, its sad.... poor parent u better keep live stocks if u want profit

  • tsakane.shadrack - 2012-12-03 22:43

    this unacceptable...ukuthwala for what human rights violation

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-12-03 22:43

    nawww Mr. president...what about da African way...surely this must go in front of the traditional leaders. it must be solved the african way!!! we can't only use western laws whenever it suits us and visa versa...hypocrites!!!

      salee.sithwell - 2012-12-04 04:18

      We do have customary law in SA. If this were to go to court and if appropriate, it certainly would be tested against it.

  • daniel.beale.94 - 2012-12-03 22:49

    It shows how primitive the practice of labola is. A woman is not a possession that can be bought and exchanged if found to be unsatisfactory...

      archibald.homwe - 2012-12-04 06:36

      Daniel do not generalise the issue of Lobola. It has nothing at all to do with owning a woman or buying a woman. In fact in my tribe when I married my wife a lot of the money and cattle I paid went to my wife's mother, her sister's and aunties as a gesture of appreciation for grooming this wonderful woman into the person I have chosen as my wife. It is also token for her father for sending her to school and educating her and I am showing my gratitude for that. Further more the real reason for lobola is to bring families together and bind them. Unlike white people when we marry we marry the whole family and all the marriage traditions (of which lobola is a small part of)are aimed at bringing us together. Going back to exchange your wife is not the african way. There is more to this story which I am sure if the traditional leaders investigated would come out. In my tribe if your wife dies and only if she dies you may marry her younger sister BUT ONLY if the sister agrees. If she refuses then thats the end of the matter. Nobody will ever push her or ask why, in fact In my HUGE family I only have one cousin who married her late sister's husband after she died of heart failure. Nobody pushed her nobody forced her to do it . And they went on to have a lovely family with 3 kids. For a black man to live with a woman he did nit pay lobola for is not marriage even if they had a huge church wedding with a huge tent and cake gourmet food is they was no lobola SHE IS NOT YOUR WIFE.

      eland.snitbul - 2012-12-04 07:05

      @archibald, thanks for the nice comment I enjoyed reading it. If thats the reasons your culture pays lebola I think it's a tradition which should be kept forever. I also think you have a good point about the above article, something else is the reason behind this.

      francoisjacques.malan - 2012-12-04 08:14

      @archibald agreed I also have problem with people who think everything that is not Western is barbaric, I suppose we get that from our French ancestors. However I am glad we live in a society that protects this 14 year old girl. Well done to the police for stopping this paedophile!

      phaldiemeyer - 2012-12-04 13:00

      ja,ja...archibald, labola is exactly the reason why men think they own women! And the root cause why they feel that they can ill-treat their spouses - why?? because I paid for you, so you'll do as I say!!

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-12-03 22:49

    As a woman the Mother of this 14 year old child HAS NO SAY!! How many are in this ridiculous situation, fgs?

  • cindy.dunn.9 - 2012-12-03 23:10

    As zuma says. Do things the african way. *angry*

      mlungisi.botha - 2012-12-04 01:22

      Cindy, when you bring politics into a national tragedy like this one then you need to know what you're talking about. Zuma also said a lot of things about protecting women and children etc, but I guess you wouldn't have heard that part would you? The fact is exploitation of 14 year olds (as in this case) is an age old and world-wide problem. It doesn't only happen in Zuma's South Africa. Prostitution, child brides, human trafficking, drugs, slavery, child labour name it and it's happening in Africa (North and South), Europe (East and West), Asia and Australasia (North, South, East and West) etc. Sending a drug induced 14 year old into the street is no less criminal than marrying off a 14 year for 30 grand wherever this might happen. So lets all get angry at the right people. O, forgot to mention that I've got a 14 year old daughter myself so I'm really really angry!

      salee.sithwell - 2012-12-04 04:23

      By all means! Blame one bad president for all of society's ills, why don't you? Next thing is Zuma must answer for the corns in your feet. Make up your mind. Must authorities do the right thing or not?

  • FloorWizPro - 2012-12-03 23:15

    Good on the authorities for stepping in and stopping what is effectively human trafficking. I wish the girl all the best for her future.

  • headman.waai - 2012-12-03 23:35

    who is the head of this church how can he/sheput preasure to a so barbaric act

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-12-03 23:44

    ANCWL, I'm sure you gals are doing a fantastic job.

  • mlungisi.botha - 2012-12-04 00:59

    Again the police and NPA have let our kids down. The fact is, these people have most likely spent the R29500.00, the 40 something plus fellow wants his wife and as soon as the dust settles they'll be sneaking around to restart negotiations. The police should arrest and charge all of them for conspiracy to commit a terrible crime. Even if some sympathetic judge/magistrate lets them of for one or other reason, the message is out there that "up with this k*k we will not put!". Whatever the justifications were then for this practice we're now in 2012, humans will be walking on Mars soon and here we are, still marrying off our kids to 40 year-olds...c'mon cops and NPA drag them (screaming, kicking and shouting if necessary) into the here and now, RIGHT NOW and set an example for all those still living in pre-millennium times!

  • siyabonga.phungula1 - 2012-12-04 04:22

    this is not cultural its criminal. these people should be arrested. when there are negotiations the bride to be has give her concern and must of marriageable age. if she says she does not know you the negotitions are off.

  • Papiki Hlahane - 2012-12-04 05:17

    another sad story of culture.In the province of the president.

  • sakhile.makhathini.7 - 2012-12-04 05:30

    The family need to return ilobolo, their daughter ran away. Ppl are greedy they will try every trick to hold on to money and 4this to settle 4a child who its disgusting.

  • garthlwilliams - 2012-12-04 05:51

    It's funny that whenever a group of people want to enforce illegal, immoral, primitive and abusive practises they call it tradition. It has nothing to do with tradition and everything to do with power, control and greed.

  • jman.maluleke - 2012-12-04 05:59

    There are conflicts here, It is a Zulu culture to force their teen girls to marry an older man of their choice. Lets be honest people it is inhuman practice to force your child to marry a person she doesnt love. Do away with Ukuthwala and let your daughters choose their future husbands. It is an old practice.. I have no intention to offend Zulus and if you feel offended by my comment please forgive Me.

  • robert.ferreiro - 2012-12-04 06:19

    Thank for the other 1 000 000 girls who suffer this and our country who are denied the talent....many would say just do your job....

  • Prudence Molefe - 2012-12-04 06:20

    bayahlanya! both church n parents this money shouldnt even have got into their hands, ive been living wit Zuluz all this time n blv me nobody can force me to push my child for marriage! basile nje the woman should have done something about this long ago, but coz of money u just wana give away ur child who still need to enjoy life like other teens. wat a shame!

  • bcluley - 2012-12-04 06:22

    Its their culture.thats why south africa will never move forward.

      kganki - 2012-12-04 06:31

      it's a Zulu culture, South Africa is not a Zulu state! This country 'will never move forward' because of ignorant fools like you

      mlungisi.botha - 2012-12-04 08:32

      @bcluley. No no no it's not Zulu culture it's male culture. Let's face it, this is what we men do to women the world over. Exploit, abuse, prostitute, drug, rape etc etc. CULTURE is agreed to and shared by both men AND women in that tribe, family etc. It's not culture if women don't agree with it and it's forced down their throats. Show me one tribe, nation, ethnic group anywhere in the world where men AND women both agree that women should be married off or used for sex at 14. yet this happens in China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Africa, all European countries, the US etc. Guess who's behind it all? men like you and me. Dare to disagree? So male culture? A big YES. Zulu culture? A big NO. If you point to one group and say it's their culture then you haven't looked where you come from closely enough.

      juannepierre - 2012-12-04 13:18

      @mlungisi no, no, it's a straight male thing, don't slump me in there just because I'm a man.

  • peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-12-04 06:30

    That's not culture, but barbaric, Zwelithini should stop marrying younger women, cause he is setting a bad example for his subjects..

  • linda.duits - 2012-12-04 06:38

    I cannot believe that this still happens in the 21st century! Please enforce laws to protect these poor girls!

  • katlegojones.malemela - 2012-12-04 06:51

    I hope the girl has not been violated by this forty-year old pig that was willing to destroy her life. Cultural nonsense, paying lobola is a risk. Unfathomable that stupid religious leaders still has this mentality, wonder what religion that is which supports destroying innocent lives! Koodos to the authority for saving her!!

  • eland.snitbul - 2012-12-04 06:58

    Jeeez I thought this only happens in Game of Thrones haha.. I'm glad someone saved the poor girl... is lebola only R30K??

  • WalkerC1097 - 2012-12-04 07:14

    This is BS... Im just saying. Are we still living in the dark ages?

  • tshiamo.seipelo - 2012-12-04 07:15

    But why! Why! Why! Why should We experience Apartheid from our Culture. Why should we flee our Community due to Racial Discriminal made by Dignity/ Customs. There must be Order if Not the Law that has to Look after Culture if Not Tradition

      karen.prinsloo.73 - 2012-12-04 08:44

      Pathetic reasoning, move forward, whites moved away from being cavemen, and so have most other people of all races throughout the world and South Africa, it is just paedophiles and barbarians that want to maintain deviant cultural practices by hiding behind behind culture, how many white paedophiles would love to become part of your culture

  • ianingwe - 2012-12-04 07:19

    Is this any different to the Muslim arraigned marriage? A marriage negotiated by people other than the couple, often done to strengthen a business or strategic situation.

      Sho Sbu - 2012-12-04 07:52 pointing another issue but what is your point you putting there...that we should embrace this madness and enjoy Xmas,that we should shut up and learn (what?) from it...that Muslim should condemned for their not making sense at all...

      francoisjacques.malan - 2012-12-04 08:22

      I think its only the primitive Muslims in the Arabic countries that practice that...and look where they are! Even worse off than us!

      ianingwe - 2012-12-04 10:57

      I was pointing out that misogyny and patriarchy exist in areas other than in black cultures. Arranged marriage still is a part of South African Muslim life/culture!

  • edwin.dinake.1 - 2012-12-04 07:29

    Eish! This 40 something years man should stop thinking like a mad animal. How can he demand his money back if the family doesn't give off their child to him?

  • kitty2wp - 2012-12-04 07:47

    What f#cken century are we living in?????

  • siliziwem - 2012-12-04 07:55

    is it close to Nkadla?

      mlungisi.botha - 2012-12-04 08:43

      You mean NkaNdla. Don't just focus on Nkandla, boy, look in your own backyard and neighbourhood. You'll find people ready willing and able to do this to kids! We always think it's the other guy who does it. Not me or us. It's people like you and me. have you heard of Jimmy Saville? Google it and you'll get my drift!

  • mjmdakane - 2012-12-04 07:58

    That's clear day light rape, how ridiculous is this, a 14 yr child and you see her as a potential wife..??? That's not culture, tradition nor religion, it's just being plain barbaric and abusive...that guy is a bloody idiot who cannot pick his own size...bloody monster, damn that makes me sick!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • magogodale.mulalo1 - 2012-12-04 07:59

    Zweli Mkhize n Zuma mst deal with dat

  • michael.konings.7 - 2012-12-04 08:09

    Back to the middleages!

  • siza.silvester - 2012-12-04 08:27

    The comment: "For a black man to live with a woman he did not pay lobola for is not marriage even if they had a huge church wedding with a huge tent and cake gourmet food if there was no lobola SHE IS NOT YOUR WIFE." from Archibald, What utter nonsense. So is the nonsense that Lobola isn't paying for your wife. Then what is it? Money exchanges hands ... wait .. actually your last comment. cited above, completely contradicts your argument that Lobola isn't paying for a woman. And, just in case you did not know, When you pay for something, WHEN MONEY EXCHANGES HANDS - cattle ... furnisher etc - it is your property!

      solo.mathe.5 - 2012-12-04 08:46

      if the payment was for your wife then how come she can just leave you without refunding it? This man cannot get a refund or the sister... His money is gone unless the family, out of shame, gives it back...otherwise its gone...

      tshekiso.saul - 2012-12-04 09:11

      Although I support part of ur sentiments, u sound just as utterly misinformed as Archibald. When u buy a product if it does not function as advertised or marketed u return it for a new one or refund.

  • solo.mathe.5 - 2012-12-04 08:40

    Just because he paid lobolo doesn't mean he should get the other girl. They are just corrupting culture now. If you pay lobolo to a woman's family and she runs away, it is not their fault that you failed to keep her...

  • tumi.matsla - 2012-12-04 10:17

    that man must find his a woma of his own age, the parents are only looking for money....

  • charnelle.bester - 2012-12-04 10:23

    Great work to the social workers and the police for putting a stop to this!!

  • juannepierre - 2012-12-04 13:14

    The 'cultural' problem I have here is that the mother says as a woman she has no say. Labola - cool, arranged marriage - not my business, but shut up because you are a woman - I am not keen on at all... It's like reading about colonial times. Welcome to 1887.

  • pages:
  • 1