The African National Congress Youth League calls for immediate intervention at Ratlou local municipality after 3000 girls underage were found to be pregnant.
ANCYL spokesperson, Mlondi Mkhize said the discovery was shocking. Mkhize further said some of these girls have had to drop out of school.
“These young girls have been forced into motherhood against their will. It is clear that they are still minors with their entire lives ahead of them. Even more shocking is that among these young girls, there is a 12-year-old who gave birth to a baby boy 6 months ago.
“It has always been our firmly held view, through the words of our forebears that a nation that does not take care of its youth does not deserve its future. This is more disgusting because the assessment by the Ministry of Social Development indicates that the culprits are older men that exploit the innocent young girls,” he said.
Mkhize added that older men had unprotected sex with underage girls and some going to the extent of being raped.
“It is only a sick society that harbours such acts of exploiting innocent young girls into having unprotected sex with them. The young girls fear for their well-being if they refuse. The buck also stops decisively on the doorstep of irresponsible parenting to allow the future of so many young girls to be taken away so brutally.
“It is our firmly held view that fathers must become responsible men. They must not open up young women to sexual exploitation. We equally call on mothers and sisters to stand strong in the fight against sexual abuse of young girls. No young girl asks to be sexually abused. We must be the first line of defense in protecting young girls because of their economic vulnerability and social exclusion,” he added.
Mkhize said they will have a meeting with minister of police to discuss this issue. He said they want to lobby the ministry to set up a task team to hunt down these elderly people who impregnated these young girls.
“We view this act as a criminal act that needs decisive action from government. We cannot have a Boko Haram-like situation unchecked haphazardly in our country. This gruesome act must be combated with the full might of the law.
North West social development spokesperson, Petrus Siko said the will bring intervention at the area.
“We will open rape cases against perpetrators and provide counselling to those affected teenagers. We will also build an early childhood development centre and make sure those girls return to school,” Siko said.
Deputy Minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu visited the area to address social-economic issues affecting the broader society. They were profiling 14 areas when they came across this issue.
More than 3000 underage girls were identified as mothers and it is alleged that they were impregnated by older men.
“We have 3000 underage girls impregnated out of 100 000 populations. We are not talking about those who are pregnant, but those who have children already. Some of them have two children at the age of 18. It clearly shows that there are some challenges that need to be addressed in this area.”
The presidency office also lambasted the perpetrators. The presidency representative, Bongani Khumalo said necessary actions must be taken.
“What we talking here is that children as young as 12 and 13 have children. It clearly says to us that people who impregnated these girls are actually guilty of statutory rape and must be charged,” Khumalo said.
North West police commissioner, Baile Motswenyane led the police task team for investigations. Motswenyane said they waiting for cases to be sent to the prosecutors to decide on any arrests.
“We have already opened dockets against suspects and we have sent them to prosecution directive in court. The matter will be decided by DPP for decision,” she said.