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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Child Marriage is Cultural in SA

It was reported that a 57 year old sangoma (traditional African witchdoctor/healer) was allowed to marry a 13 year old girl on the explanation that "she was being troubled by the ancestors". Really?? I ask you with damn tears in my eyes whether or not this could in any way be acceptable. 

The poor child's parents consented to the "marriage" and sold her for accepted R5000 as lobola. 

This is an absolutely disgusting action. What parent in their right mind allows a child to marry an old man? This kind of practise should be outlawed and so too should the evil practices of sangomas.

The article below says that the government is "outraged" by this marriage and yet they still allow it to happen. They arrested the sangoma but because the marriage is valid apparently all charges were dropped. It is encouraging to see that the National Prosecuting Authority will actually be looking into the matter and I hope they stay with it.

In my opinion this is a Constitutional matter and as a result the government has to take into account the rights of the child. there is no way that a marriage at 13 to someone 4 times her age could in any way be in her best interests. So the challenge is now on the state to set things right and to ensure that this is never allowed to happen again - that is if they are serious. 

Read Mike Smiths recent article on his blog dealing with muti - which is supplied by these unscrupulous snake oil salesmen and blatant criminals. 

Outrage at 57-year-old Sangoma's marriage to 13-year-old

Sapa | 31 January, 2013 10:53

"Such practises cannot go unabated in a country where children are protected and have a right to education, [and] a stable and safe environment," government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.
The Sowetan reported on Thursday that a 57-year-old sangoma had married a 13-year-old epileptic girl in Modimolle, so he could monitor her trouble with her ancestors.
The girl's mother reportedly said the sangoma treated her daughter for two years and cured her epilepsy. He then told her ancestors were troubling the girl and she needed to be monitored. He offered to marry her.
"We had no choice but to agree to his suggestion because we wanted her to be healthy," the woman told the newspaper. She said she accepted a R5000 ilobola (dowry) for her daughter.
According to The Sowetan, the sangoma was arrested on January 23 after a villager complained to social workers, however charges against him were withdrawn as the girl's parents had consented to the marriage.
"It takes a village to raise a child, and therefore it is a collective responsibility to safeguard and protect our children," said Williams.
She said the government was encouraged that the National Prosecuting Authority was investigating the matter.
"We trust that it will receive the necessary attention and that this case will be prioritised," she said.

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