The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) reacted with “disgust” at news of the impregnation of 3 000 under-age girls, one of them a 12-year old who is said to have given birth six months ago.
Most of the girls were impregnated by far older men, and the ANCYL says some of them were raped. South African law says consensual sex with a child under the age of 16 in any case constitutes statutory rape, as it is sexual intercourse with a minor who cannot give consent legally.
The league said it would hold a meeting with Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko, so that they could lobby the police to launch a hunt for “these elderly men”.
They were reacting to reports that more than 3 000 under-age girls were impregnated in the Ratlou rural village in the North West province.
“The African National Congress Youth League is saddened and shocked at the discovery of 3 000 under-age girls who were impregnated and now have children. Some have had to drop out of school at the Ratlou municipality. These young girls have been forced into motherhood against their will, as they are clearly 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 six months ago,” said the league’s national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize.
“This is more disgusting because the assessment by the ministry of social development indicates that the culprits are older men that exploit the innocence of these young girls, having unprotected sex with them and some going to the extent of being raped.
“The ANCYL will have a meeting with the minister of police to speak about the issue of these 3 000 young girls. The purpose of the meeting is 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.”
ALSO READ: Mpofu tells Sexwale he’s lying about Zille
The DA in North West also called for the North West MEC for social development, Fenny Gaolaolwe, to table a plan on how they plan to tackle this “deeply concerning” issue.
“The Democratic Alliance is deeply concerned that it is alleged that some of the girls have been raped, sexually assaulted and in some cases alcohol might have been used by older men to seduce the girls. Some have been the victims of the popular blesser-blessee phenomenon.