Social worker rescue 15-year-old ‘bride’ from man, 27

2015-06-05 07:26

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Pietermaritzburg - Social workers were to open a criminal case on Thursday against a 27-year-old man who is believed to have been living with a 15-year-old girl as his “bride”.

The girl from Bulwer, southern KwaZulu-Natal, has been removed to a place of safety where she is receiving counselling.

MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi ordered social workers to intervene after the case was brought to her attention last week, the department said in a statement.

The couple’s union, according to Thusi is in contravention of the Children’s Act and the Marriage Act.

“It is disheartening to think that in this day and age, particularly during Child Protection 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 who should be in school getting an education, not setting up a home with a grown man,” said Thusi.

Thusi added they are “following this case” with “a keen interest” and that they will “not rest until it is concluded”.

“I have 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.”

Thusi said she has renewed her call to communities to protect the rights of children and ensure their well-being at all times.

“History will judge us 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.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  child abuse

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