Forced marriages - girls sold for cows

2012-11-16 22:26

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal government departments have no data on ukuthwala, a practice involving the abduction and forced marriage of girls, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said on Friday.

"It is difficult to pinpoint what is happening because no department has kept statistics on ukuthwala," CGE chaiirperson Mfanozelwe Shozi said.

The CGE held a dialogue on ukuthwala in Durban and it emerged there was no specific legislation dealing with ukuthwala, because the law only dealt with cases of assault, kidnapping, and rape.

The practice of ukuthwala occurs mainly in the Bergville and Umzimkhulu areas.

KwaZulu-Natal CGE legal officer Taryn Powys, who presented her findings on an investigation on ukuthwala, said the provincial departments of health, social development, and co-operative governance and traditional affairs, had failed to provide data on the practice.

The National Prosecuting Authority and the police also did not have statistics. The education department and the premier's office had programmes which dealt with ukuthwala.

Traditional leader Inkosi Themba Mavundla said the practice was acceptable culturally, but had been tainted by criminal acts.

Mavundla said ukuthwala happened when a girl who had come of age agreed with her boyfriend to be abducted, so her family would allow them to get married.

This happened mainly where the girl's parents did not approve of her boyfriend. Mavundla noted that a girl was never forced to marry a man she did not want.

"As South Africans we need to understand that we are a multi-cultural society. Democracy does not mean we must forget our identity."

Mavundla said abducting and forcing a girl to marry was a criminal act, but not ukuthwala.

He said parents also perpetuated this criminal act.

"Money is causing a lot of problems, because parents are selling their children for cows," Mavundla said.

Powys said the GCE was concerned by the practise, which was condoned by some as part of a "culture".

"These are criminal acts. We need to come together and protect our children," she said.

  • michael.smit.73997 - 2012-11-16 22:53

    primitive neanderthal cultures

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-16 23:07

      If cows are worth more than people, perhaps its time to stop creating people and create more cows

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-11-17 01:12

      Huh? This is in South Africa? Sheesh. When I saw the headline I presumed it to be in some other backward country. What a shock to find out it's right on our doorstep! Wow. Who woulda thunk? Certainly not I.

      JJ_D - 2012-11-17 01:28

      Are you being serious? As opposed to arranged Indian marriages,the tendencies of Mormons, mail order brides...but this is primitive? Where the family just sells her off is wrong, besides that it's perfectly acceptable

      arthur.hugh - 2012-11-17 02:13

      21st century. Get out or go home, plonkers. Africa really is so far behind it's scary.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-17 07:29

      I want to vomit....I have seen some of these 'brides'. 10-11 year old pubescent children, forced into captivity by men old enough to be their fathers. Pregnant before their tiny bodies are matured. Thrown out, or beaten if they do not conceive, work or obey.

      morne.demeillon - 2012-11-17 09:34

      Hou op wyn suip jaarling, want jy praat n klomp k#k!!!

  • more.pido - 2012-11-16 23:12

    only in kwazulu le natal

  • robert.keene.94 - 2012-11-16 23:24

    And these people manipulate, control and run our 21st century democracy through their "vote" for the likes of the ANC?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-16 23:42

      Which is why they wish to legislate against 'disrespect'. It's the age-old dictatorial way; once caught trying to be above the law, you just create a new one. The downfall of the monarchical, feudal system in the West started 225 years ago. Despite the finest Constitution in the world, South Africans seem determined to return to the very structures they pretend to abhor.

      cebo.e.ndlovu - 2012-11-17 03:26

      Sad when ppl paint the whole nation 4just a minority act

  • Jack - 2012-11-16 23:54

    Is it ok to have a girl and a cow or do you have to make a choice? What is the exchange rate; anyone know? Do you have to pay VAT?

      chris.summers.3954 - 2012-11-17 00:55

      There is no word for VAT in clearly it doesn't apply. We don't appreciate your white tendencies here, Jack!

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-11-17 10:55

      The two of you who are gathered here probably spend your lives scratching your balls and talking sheet

  • drake.murdoch.5 - 2012-11-17 01:37

    Don't be so quick to judge – in this economy money is hard to come by...

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-11-17 07:01

      Interestingly enough you are right. We do have an over abundance of woman from that specific culture and the price of meat is ridiculous. Smart people.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-11-17 05:46

    The bulk of the american africans were sold into slavery by their own families, from all over Africa. The arabs were the main slave traders and at the time it was common to have slaves if you could afford them. Nowadays we just sell ourselves into slavery, its called employment, more sophisticated and subtle without the whips but much the same.

  • sicelo.brukwe.9 - 2012-11-17 06:22

    Tribal System really worked when it comes to blind fold our people. Sies! This is disgusting and destroying a women's rights as well!!

  • mike.clery - 2012-11-17 07:35

    So Mr Mavundla finds it "acceptable culturally" for an immature 16 year old girl, who's parents want to complete her education (maybe even tertiary), to "agree with her boyfriend to be abducted" and do as she pleases?

      mike.clery - 2012-11-17 07:39

      He also needs to clarify just what "a girl who had come of age" means. Does it include physically mature 11-year-olds?

      sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-17 08:27

      Mavundla needs to get a grip, the practice of ukuthwala is a criminal act

      Zolile - 2012-11-17 12:36

      In many instances if not all a girl is taken without prior knowledge and against her will. She is not convinced to accompany but forced by being carried against her will. Ukuthwalwa comes from the word thwala which means to carry.

  • matome.leshabane - 2012-11-17 10:34

    They say calture..? Damn... What kind of culture is that..? ealier we had that the same ppl of de same culture in Durban, they vandalized watertaps so that this young girls should go far to the rivers @ veld to fetch water, and its where they rape and perfom this thing they say ''ukuthwala''... Its unacceptable... No,no,no..ppl. That's why this ppl are raping, killing and commiting all sort of crime in Gauteng , they grewup with that poor mentality in Durban and Cape town and now they want to practice it in our beautiful country as a whole... ahg, man sies...

  • Sherry Skibbe - 2012-11-17 10:42

    selling children for cows is nothing short of slavery of yr own children !! disgraceful if parents think they own and can sell their own kids

  • matome.leshabane - 2012-11-17 10:49

    That's why rape is so high in SA coz this poor boyz are broughtup nowing that they will perfom ''ukuthwala'' they get enough time to plan it . it's even in their plans... Most boyz of dis culture are aggresive and no respect. They don't even know how to propose a ladies. They only know ( induku and ukuthwala ) that's all.

  • AfricanJedi - 2012-11-17 18:50

    "ukuthwala happened when a girl who had come of age agreed with her boyfriend to be abducted," what rubbish

  • KennySven - 2012-11-17 20:40

    AS Showerhead sai's "eits maai tradishon.

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-11-22 20:11

    Looking forward to hearing ''The Spin Doctor'' Wac Maharaj, defending this one, in the interest of Nkandla Kraal.

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