Imagine this: A 13-year old girl is on her way to fetch water by the river, then suddenly two men of about 35 appear from nowhere and "kidnap" her. Then the child is taken into the kidnapper's home where the horny bastard will make the child his wife and even impregnate her. In this man's mind, he has got all the rights to act in this way and definitely sees nothing wrong with it.
Their parents are glad to have one less plate to serve
Unfortunately, for girls under the age of 18 in Lusikisiki, this isn't some kind of an imagined picture but a reality they have very slim chances of escaping. Meanwhile, their parents are glad to have rid themselves of at least one plate of food every time super or breakfast is served. For these poor girls, they want nothing more than to be at school hoping that some day, they will have careers.
Ukuthwala was the subject matter in last night's episode of 3rd Degree. I was petrified and said to myself, if any kind of bastard will ukuthwala my daughter, their body will be ripped into over 100 pieces before I hand over myself to the police.
The girls' wishes is to focus on nothing else but their studies
Pictures of young girls making their way to school were shown and as a 25-year old father, all I could see was mere toddlers trying to get an education. But for horny bastards of over 35 in Lusikisiki, all they see in these young girls are wives whom will fulfil their sexual fantasies.
An insert of girl pupils were shown and from what the girls said, you could tell they believe ukuthwala is wrong as they themselves state they are still young and they should only be focusing on their studies.
Sexual peverts have diverted the meaning of ukuthwala to suit and justify their horrible deeds.
Outspoken cultural analyst Nombiniso Gasa spoke in great detail about the origin, meaning and intention of ukuthwala. She said ukuthwala is a practice whereby a fairly young widow would be "kidnapped" by a certain man and she would become his new wife. This was done in consultation with her family and her in-laws and after the whole ukuthwala thingie, cows would be paid to the in-laws.
In another instance, ukuthwala is a means of a man who cannot speak for himself with the opposite sex. Then, consultations with the family of a woman he would like to marry would begin and voila, the woman will marry the man.
The girls are called "sexual objects, bitches and baby makers" among other names
However, for Lusikisiki's despicable men, they can do as they please with young girls because all they see in them is "sexual objects, baby makers, bitches" and many other degrading names.
During 3rd Degree Plus, Gasa explained that she grew up in the '70s and during her childhood, there were only 5 instances of ukuthwala and that it wasn't toddlers who were thwala-ed.
When customary law is in conflict with western law, western law should take precedence - Prof Shadrack Gutto on what the Constitution says
Constitutional expert from the University of South Africa, Prof Shadrack Gutto spoke about the violation of children security as stated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. He also stated that (as we all know) having a sexual encouter with minors is nothing but pure statutory rape.
In the crux and root cause of the matter, lies excuses of poverty and a cultural practice that has been practiced over centuries by Lusikisiki forefathers. If a child tries to run away and go back home, the children's parents will be furious and send them back to their husbands. They would make statement like, do you want me to return the cows, do you want me to lose these cows. Essentailly, these poor girls have nobody to turn to, let alone anywhere to go.
About 46% of girl pupils drop out to "focus" on their marriage
According to a teacher in one of Lusikisiki schools, there is a 46% dropout of girl pupils from school. Many cases of these nature are not reported to the police as some of the police men are guilty of the same practice. Some are arrested but later freed, consequently betraying young souls who seek justice for their predicament.
A man who once thwala-ed a 13-year old was interviewed and gave a full picture of how he went about it. Basically, he followed the same route as that of the bastards stated in the opening paragraph. The man stated he works in Durban and he needed someone to take care of his house. When he returned home last year in December, he was arrested for kidnapping and statutory rape, to his surprise, he claims. He also claims that he hadn't had an intercouse with the girl because he stated that traditioanlly, there should be no intercourse until lobola cows have been paid. However, medical tests showed that the girl he thwala-ed was raped.
What's clear is that JZ getting a second term in office is more crucial than explaining to the country why the government turns a blind eye on this matter.
On the other hand, The Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, is dragging its foot in addressing the matter. The Minister or the spokesperson couldn't make it to 3rd Degree recording because they had to attend JZ's strategic Cabinet reshuffling. What's clear here, at least to me, is that ensuring JZ's second term in office is more crucial than telling the country why the government fails these children.
What's clear here is that this cultural practice should be done away with and pronounced illegal. Prof Gutto said in a country like South Africa where you have customary law and western law, if the customary law is in conflict with western law, then, western law should take precedence and I agree. However, it looks like the government wouldn't be doing so anytime soon as some Mandela Parliamentarian is guilty of sexist statements and practices.
A culture that doesn't evolve, risks being irelevant to its people - Blaqueboi on societal issues
The Sonke Gender Network was in studio and said it is high time South Africa says enough is enough. And it's true, enough is enough, the government must pay urgent attention to this matter and many other related matters. Blaqueboi stated in one of the debates we had earlier this year that a culture that doesn't evolve risks being irelevant to its people. Hence ukuthwala isn't relevant to 2010 teenagers.
A country's caring nature is judged by how it's treating vulnerable children - Former deputy minister of Correctional Services, Ms Loretta Jacobus
This is to the government, stop being self-centred bastards who only care about R150 000.00 monthly salaries and the fancy cars you drive as well as bilateral picnics you have with your international buddies. Former deputy Minister of Correctional Services Ms Loretta Jacobus once said, a country's caring nature is judged on how it treats the young and the vulnerable. I guess this gives us a picture of how the government views the failed souls of Lusikisiki.