BY REGINALD KANYANE
SOUTH African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has said the number of underage girls who have children in Ratlou local municipality is far less than 3000. Ramaphosa said this while answering questions from opposition parties in parliament yesterday.
“The number has been sensationalised. The investigations are underway and we expect to deal with that matter decisively. We need to fight this tendency of blessers or sugar daddies. The situation is stirred by poverty and unemployment. We need to empower those young girls and ensure that they return to school,” he said.
ANCYL called for remedial action after 3000 underage girls were impregnated. ANCYL spokesperson, Mlondi Mkhize said the discovery was shocking.
“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,” Mkhize added.
He said they will have a meeting with minister of police to discuss this issue. Mkhize further added that 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,” he said.
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.