The family of the teenage girl who gave birth to conjoined twins at Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital this week, say they will not be laying charges of statutory rape against her 22-year-old boyfriend.
The legal age of consent is 16 years. The girl is 15.
The teenager from Jouberton township, near Klerksdorp in North West, gave birth to twin girls Keamogetswe and Tiroyaone.
The sister of the Grade 11 learner says in line with Setswana custom, the family wrote to the boyfriend’s family soon after learning of the girl’s pregnancy.
“The two families met and discussed the matter according to our culture. The boyfriend acknowledged the pregnancy and accepted responsibility. The families are on good terms and we have no reason to lay any charges. They have been supportive throughout the pregnancy and even now,” says the sister who cannot be named to protect her minor sibling’s identity.
She says although the birth of the twins has shocked the family, they have accepted their condition and have left everything in God’s hands. The family discovered the girl’s condition was abnormal when she was seven months pregnant.
“We did not even consider the option of abortion because we believe that only God has the right to take a life.
“God knows why he created them like this. We have left everything in His hands,” she says.
The teenager had been writing her Grade 11 exams until she was admitted to hospital on November 5. She harbours plans of becoming a pilot.
“She is very bright. She is good in maths and science,” says the girl’s sister, adding that she will return to school next year.
“We have been supportive. She has accepted her children’s condition and she is fine,” she says.
The teenage mom was discharged from hospital on Friday morning.
She made the 150km trip home with other patients in a provincial patient transport bus which ferries people daily between Chris Hani- Baragwanath and Klerksdorp hospitals.
Looking exhausted but in high spirits, the shy teenager made it clear she didn’t like journalists and expressed surprise and irritation that pictures of her babies had been splashed in newspapers.
But her face lit up when she talked about her children, revealing that she planted a kiss on each of them before she left them in the hospital’s high care ward where they are still under observation.