A 16-year-old girl alleged to have been forced into a marriage in the remote rural areas of Ngxangxasini Locality, Mpindweni in Engcobo has been rescued by police.
The breakthrough was a joint effort between the Tactical Response Team, Engcobo detectives, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and Mounted Unit.
According to website Road Safety, police and the Mpindweni community have been at loggerheads for some time. The community were reportedly mobilised in anticipation of the police’s arrival, hurling insults at them while they rescued the teenager.
Police said they had summoned the grade 9 girl’s biological parents to the Engcobo police station on Wednesday to meet with investigators.
The rescue was hailed by Eastern Cape provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga, who said that police recognised the right people had to practice their cultures and customs of choice, but also had to act according to the constitutional rights of the young girl, namely education and childhood.
Ntshinga warned that those forcing young children into marriage needed to stop, or risk arrest.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)