Mandla Mandela asked to clarify sex talk

2011-11-24 22:23

Johannesburg - ANC MP Mandla Mandela has been asked to clearly state in the National Assembly that the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16, three gender rights organisations said on Thursday.

This came after Mandela made comments in July last year regarding the practice of Ukuthwala, the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, the Commission for Gender Equality and the Rural Women's Movement said in a statement.

Ukuthwala is a practice where women, some as a young as 14-years-old, are abducted and forcefully married to older men.

Mandela is a grandson of former president Nelson Mandela.

According to the organisations, Mandela said the process of Ukuthwala had nothing to do with age and depended on whether the girl underwent the intonjane initiation, as arranged by her family.

"That is how culture works," he was quoted as saying at a rural development and land reform Parliamentary portfolio committee meeting.

"When you are going to discuss culture do not even try to bring in white notions as such an approach will turn things upside down," he said.

"Firstly, culture has no age. Age is something we learnt today because of our westernisation."

The three organisations met with Mandela on Thursday to discuss his comments.

Mandela was also asked to acknowledge section 3(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act which states that all prospective spouses must be over the age of 18 to enter into a customary marriage, the organisations said.

"On this basis the organisations asked honourable Mandela to also publicly condemn the abduction, kidnapping, assault and rape that currently accompany ukuthwala.

"These are all criminal offences that mitigate consent and are not in accordance with customary negotiations around marriage," they said.

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-11-25 01:21

    Sometimes it hurts me when I see the word 'African culture' being manipulated to meet someone's personal appetite. This is the culture that I belong to and respect. These hypocrites cherish western values than their culture. They dress in Italian designer suits, drive German sedans and drink 40+ extra matured Scotch whisky and that's still African to them. They erect pallisade and electronic fences and throw away extra food while their neighbours starve and that's still African to them. Isn't not the African culture that says when you a father, you are the father of all kids in the neighbourhood? When you kidnap them you have simply overriden your responsbilities as a father to a monster. Being a King as you are Mandla you should've done better to raise public awareness about the irrelavence and illegality of Ukuthwala in the current dispensation. In the 19th and preceding centuries it was even relevant to be polygamous in Europe but the economic constraints, legal obligations and HIV-Aids changed everything. Human nature has evolved through stages and culture was never left behind. What was legal and relevant in the 19th century may be illegal and irrelevant today. Being a Mandela does not give immunity from building your own legacy than to live on Madiba's legacy as legacy is inheritable .

      Marion - 2011-11-25 07:30

      "Sometimes it hurts me when I see the word 'African culture' being manipulated to meet someone's personal appetite." Well said Tshivhombela.

      Shirley - 2011-11-25 11:19

      I couldnt of said it better myself! Now can you explain that to the likes of Mandla. One has to be careful that culture doesnt become cult.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-11-25 11:24

      Give this man a bells, make sure it's extra matured! Cheers to you Tshivhombela!

  • Azurite - 2011-11-25 07:05

    Not only a barbaric but also a racist. Are you really family of Nelson Mandela?

  • Azurite - 2011-11-25 07:06

    This shows exactly why Africa is procrastinating in the dark ages.

  • Homemissionary - 2011-11-25 07:06

    Hmm.I am African and I believe culture has a time and place.The culture of respecting elders,i agree with.But when my daughter's old and wants to get married,I'm not going to 'charge lobola' for her.As long as I know the guy has a stable job,I'll be satisfied.Culture isn't always right.Period.

  • Gregory - 2011-11-25 07:53

    I wonder if he hates "Western Notions" like plumbing, electricity, penicillin, Parliamentary Democracy, the combustion engine etc etc ad nauseam...

      jody.beggs - 2011-11-25 09:43

      Of course not then he'd be uncivilized ! (shocking) Damn Mandla Mandela , save South African woman from creeps like this !

  • christo.stone - 2011-11-25 07:53

    I hate cultures and traditions...I'm so glad I don't have to follow any of that bullcrap in my family...

  • Helen - 2011-11-25 07:58

    God help our children!!!!!!

      jody.beggs - 2011-12-07 12:39

      God helps those who help themselves. In other words if you want God to do something get up and do it! Damn the Man!

  • Gregory - 2011-11-25 07:59

    So........................ what did he say???????????????????

  • cupcake - 2011-11-25 08:36

    no wonder the government does nothing about rape. i dont even think they know it's wrong!!!! this is the most ridiculous thing ever heard. And i guess everyone is just going to bend over and let this one slide too... :(

      fishycraig - 2011-11-25 09:40

      Rape in this country is not about hatred towards women. It is just a way of having sex. No wonder why nothing is done about it and we have the world's highest levels.

  • Randomhero6661 - 2011-11-25 09:02

    Give that man a grenade lock him in a room and give him loads of lsd!

  • Nishan - 2011-11-25 09:04

    If people say wat u are doing is wrong dont worry, u just keep doing wat you feel like and blame it on their white tendencies. Their western way of doing things... If you want to embrace your culture why only do the parts that suit you and accept the western way for everything else? If you embrace it, do it fully. Start wearing animal skins and give up your merc for an ox cart!

  • TheWatcher - 2011-11-25 09:35

    My ancestors used to rape and slaughter entire villages then drink from the skulls of those we'd killed. Does this mean we can do that again?

  • Claudia - 2011-11-25 09:44

    I'm the Interim Director of a non-profit organization that addresses sexual harassment and violence against women on farms and in rural communities of the Western Cape called REACH. One of our projects, in partnership with SAfAIDS, explores harmful cultural practices that are linked to gender based violence and transmission of HIV. Ukuthwala is one of those practices. If a young girl is forced to be married and engage in sexual relations under the age of consent this is not a cultural right. It's a human rights violation, and against our countries constitution and legislation such as the sexual offences act, and the customary marriages act. I think its time that some of our government officials attend awareness-raising and sensitization workshops seeing as they can't wrap their heads around the same legislation that they are meant to endorce and enforce. Viva Tshwaranang, CGE and RWM!

  • jody.beggs - 2011-11-25 09:51

    Got to love Zapiro ! Damn South African sex pest , castrate the lot !

  • Di - 2011-11-25 10:40

    backward barbaric acts paraded as "culture". Grow up, and get over yourself - this hair trigger approach to "white" notions every time to justify neanderthalic acts is getting a bit stale

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2011-11-25 11:08

    What culture, it's not even agriculture dammit! How absurd Mandela, it's not about westernisation its about being civilised, clearly you and the people who accept this practice have a problem with that notion, savages.

  • Shirley - 2011-11-25 11:16

    Cannibilism is culture to some tribes-so it must be acceptable? The word culture is over used as an excuse in many cases of human rights violations. We hold 16 days of activism against woman and children yet in the next breath a childs right to be a child is destroyed. This is going to open a grey area for child molesters-so where do you draw the line????

      Mike - 2011-11-25 13:07

      Shirley, what you are referring to is cultural relativism, a dangerous scenario in a modern democracy. We can only conduct ourselves according to civilized rules otherwise anarchy and mayhem will prevail.

  • David - 2011-12-22 17:21

    "Age is something we learnt today because of our westernisation." Love it!

  • Archie - 2012-01-05 13:45

    Does this fool ever go to parliament?Can he read and write?When he can generate his own income (work)and be productive he will see that the rest of us have financed his lala land existence We pay,tax,vat,water/light/municipal rates/fuel levies/Toll tax and employees also get 3 weeks leave/sick leave/12 days public holiday pay.Also we pay armed response (work and home)subscribe to BEE blackmail Seta levies (which Blade Nzimande wants to steal)Now Mandla also wants underage children in the pedophiles beds,We are living in 2012 not 1802!

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