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Thread: Child bride kidnapping - age old custom of Ukuthwalwa

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    Thumbs down Child bride kidnapping - age old custom of Ukuthwalwa

    Is this just another cultural thing that we need to accept, while still hoping to be welcomed by the international community as a progressive developing nation?

    Just like we're expected to to accept AIDS Shower Boy Zuma's cheating on his multiple wives with an AIDS infected young girl as part of his culture

    Child bride kidnapping

    As South Africa celebrates child protection week, horrific stories emerged of how more than 31 girls from rural Eastern Cape have been forced to marry men up to three times their age. The Sunday Times visited Lusikisiki this week an uncovered how girls as young as 14 were being violated under the guise of the age old custom of Ukuthwalwa

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    Address by Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang
    Minister in The Presidency: during the Lusikisiki Imbizo on girl child abductions, forced and early marriages

    ..3 paragraphs snipped..

    It is a known fact that like other cultures elsewhere in the world, arranged marriages and ukuthwalwa are factors in our society that we are still faced with. This practice of arranged marriages and ukuthwalwa still happens in many parts of our country despite the democracy ushered in by the 1994 historic moment. A critical and fundamental question begs to be asked therefore: Is this practice of ukuthwalwa (and arranged marriages especially where young girls are involved) something that we want to hold dear for future generations to inherit? Do we as parents and leaders take pride in this practice? Can we honestly and with confidence say that if we took a decision to do away with this practice we would in essence lose our sense of identity and being as black South Africans? Would one of our most famous sons of South Africa and Bizana Cde OR Tambo support this kind of practice if was here with us today?

    I will not even undertake to provide an answer to this question at this stage. What I can say with utmost certainty however is that this practice denies our girl children of their right to choose (in this context the right to choose a husband). As we know this right is enshrined in our Constitution and just three days ago we were commemorating and celebrating this right.

    Apart from denying them the right and freedom to choose, this practice has a tendency of denying these children, our children, life opportunities such as education, and exposes them to social responsibilities such as parenthood for which they are ill-prepared. Even more worrying though, this practice has yet another consequence of exposing these children, our children, to sexually transmitted infections (including HIV and AIDS) which are placing a huge burden on our country's health system.

    South Africa has a proud history when it comes to the struggle for children's rights. It was young black South Africans, many of them children, who played a leading role in the country's liberation. We are now celebrating fifteen years of democracy in our country. We are all expected to make efforts in strengthening our democracy to better the lives of all.

    The denial of children's rights under apartheid, and the brutal treatment of those who resisted, spawned a deep child-rights consciousness in those who were to make the new state, as well as a commitment of putting the children first so as to ensure their well-being and positive development.

    The South African Bill of Rights is unique in granting children in South Africa specific rights that are aligned with international instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the context of our African traditions, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

    All these developments and achievements need to be celebrated. But we need to be mindful that, as much as we have made significant progress in ensuring that the lives of children are improved, South Africa still faces challenges with regard to the protection and development of children. As we have this discussion today, let us do so with a clear sense of the kind of society that we want our children to live in. They need our protection. They also have to benefit from this freedom and democracy that they fought for.

    As this collective we are meeting today to address what in our own view, constitutes violation of children's human rights - the issue of girls who are forced into early marriages with grown up men. We have learnt that, this practice is still happening in the areas of Eastern Pondoland which covers Lusikisiki, Flagstaff, Bizana and others.

    It came to our attention as government that girls between the ages of 12 and 15 years are targeted for this practice called "Ukuthwala", meaning that when a man wants to marry a woman that he never proposed love to, he will inform the girl's family about his intention and a plan would be devised to abduct the little girl. Apparently, these abductions happen when the girls are on their way to fetch water or wood.

    As much as people may argue that it is a cultural practice, we would like to humbly sensitise everybody in this country that it is a practice that is extremely contrary to the upliftment of human rights. As mothers, what role do we see ourselves playing in putting an end to this practice? Are the fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers seeing a role for themselves in this practice? What kind of role is it?

    The law in our country does not allow for any marriages to take place as long as ages are below sixteen. In this case, it is even worse because it has an element of girls being forced into this relationship.

    We have also learnt that, there are times these girls are forced to marry older men who are HIV positive. In my life as Minister of Health I have consistently fought this myth that if a HIV positive man sleeps with a young virgin he will be cured of this infection. I want to repeat, this is simply not true. Having sex with a young girl will not cure anyone of the virus.

    Further, as government, we would like to emphasise that, of course being guided by the law, consent is an essential requirement in all marital regimes in South Africa, including in customary marriages. Therefore, forced marriages and abductions are legally criminalised.

    Child marriage is regarded as a form of gender-based violence against girl child. Given this, we need to acknowledge that this practice will ultimately compromise the development of the girl child and can result in early pregnancies, increasing the chances of maternal mortality. Furthermore, the young girl will suffer from social isolation, with little or no education, poor vocational training, responsible for household chores in running families at young age, will increase her vulnerability to domestic violence. This simply then reinforces the gendered nature of poverty.

    We need to acknowledge that, as a country and collectively, we have a potential to present far more developmental opportunities for our children as systems of delivery are strengthened. Our government is continuously engaging with the traditional leadership on a number of issues. We ensure that, this collective working relationship continue, to also manage the development and protection of our children.

    In the words of one of the heroes and leaders of our country Oliver Reginald Tambo, "A country that does not value its children does not deserve a future".

    In conclusion, I want to appeal to all of us to ensure that the work of transforming our society that we started in 1994 is continued beyond the 22 April elections. Let us go out there and vote for the organisation that we know will ensure that this project of deepening democracy and transforming our society is indeed continued. The children of Lusikisiki and Bizana are also waiting for this transformation. We can't fail them!

    Thank you.

    Issued by: The Presidency
    24 March 2009
    Source: The Presidency (http://www.thepresidency.gov.za)


    ---------------ends article

    Well it's obvious that government does not approve of this horrible cultural practice, but will they enforce the law against those who seek to get away with these acts under the guise of cultural tradition?
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    The South African Bill of Rights is unique in granting children in South Africa specific rights that are aligned with international instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the context of our African traditions, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
    This is BS. There is some sort of attitude in the ANC and many SA'ns that this
    SA Bill or Rights is somehow special and more encompassing and whatnot - this is total nonsense. If they needed to add any specific terms for children only, it's most likely because said children were so routinely violated that they had to be mentioned specifically and it seems by all the child HIV in SA and reports of mass child abuse and women rape that these are not working out very well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    Is this just another cultural thing that we need to accept, while still hoping to be welcomed by the international community as a progressive developing nation?

    Just like we're expected to to accept AIDS Shower Boy Zuma's cheating on his multiple wives with an AIDS infected young girl as part of his culture

    Child bride kidnapping
    Ukuthwalwa is an old tradition of an arranged (ukwendisa) marriage, different from unacceptable abuse of children under the guise of "ukuthwalwa".

    Zuma publicly apologized for his act in 2006, meaning, its probably something that is not acceptable.

    "I wish to state categorically and place on record that I erred in having unprotected sex. I should have known better and I should have acted with greater caution and responsibility. For this, I unconditionally apologise to all the people of this country."
    Last edited by dlk001; 31-05-2009 at 12:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlk001 View Post
    Ukuthwalwa is an old tradition of an arranged (ukwendisa) marriage, different from unacceptable abuse of children under the guise of "ukuthwalwa".

    Zuma publicly apologized for his act in 2006, meaning, its probably something that is not acceptable.

    "I wish to state categorically and place on record that I erred in having unprotected sex. I should have known better and I should have acted with greater caution and responsibility. For this, I unconditionally apologise to all the people of this country."
    BS it is simply typical savage behaviour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redant View Post
    BS it is simply typical savage behaviour.
    Say something useful instead of BS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redant View Post
    BS it is simply typical savage behaviour.
    Easy on the lingo there man.

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8303212.stm

    Prince Xhanti Sigcawu, a member of the Xhosa royal family, defends the custom.

    "Ukuthwalwa like all our other customs was and remains an important part of who we are as people," he says.

    "There is nothing wrong with the practice when it is done in the right way - which is when the girl is at the right age and the parents are involved and agree."
    If this is your way of thinking then maybe it's time that you as a people disappear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evilstebunny View Post
    If this is your way of thinking then maybe it's time that you as a people disappear.
    We will not disapear from our land . If you do not understand our ways rather ask and we will inform you otherwise you can go back to the sea .
    This is one of the most ancient traits of racial attitudes that I dislike . you pick on stories you dont even understand so as to quench your racial hate and propel your African barbarians propaganda .

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    Slavery was part of my ancestor's culture but they thankfully kicked that habit a long time ago. Perhaps these people should consider doing the same.
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    Trolls continue to ruin this section I see. How sad. Heed rpm's sticky is my advice to you.

    The OP interested me as we actually covered this in African Customary Law this year. Amazing that a practice like this still exists - though it does in many countries throughout the world, not just here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isede View Post
    We will not disapear from our land . If you do not understand our ways rather ask and we will inform you otherwise you can go back to the sea .
    This is one of the most ancient traits of racial attitudes that I dislike . you pick on stories you dont even understand so as to quench your racial hate and propel your African barbarians propaganda .
    So you reckon child brides are ok?
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    Ponder, he is one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by isede View Post
    We will not disapear from our land . If you do not understand our ways rather ask and we will inform you otherwise you can go back to the sea .
    This is one of the most ancient traits of racial attitudes that I dislike . you pick on stories you dont even understand so as to quench your racial hate and propel your African barbarians propaganda .
    There was a stupid bush pig, that knew a Lion was nearby, and decided to make a noise. It got eaten.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isede View Post
    We will not disapear from our land . If you do not understand our ways rather ask and we will inform you otherwise you can go back to the sea .
    This is one of the most ancient traits of racial attitudes that I dislike . you pick on stories you dont even understand so as to quench your racial hate and propel your African barbarians propaganda .
    How in heavens name is he being racist? Isede I am finding it laughable that you are able to find racism in pretty much any post you read. Pot, kettle?

    All we are saying is that this 'tradition' is nothing more than a way for dirty old farts to claim young under age brides! It is discusgting not to mention illegal when you compare it to our legal age for sex? If this angers you, the fact that we want it gone, is that because you want a 14 year old bride?

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