A Grade 9 schoolgirl who was reportedly forced into a marriage in the remote rural areas of Ngxangxasini, in Engcobo, has been rescued and taken to a place of safety.
ENGCOBO – A Grade 9 school girl who was reportedly forced into a marriage in the remote rural areas of Ngxangxasini, in Engcobo, has been rescued and taken to a place of safety.
The 16-year-old girl was taken to an undisclosed location, following a struggle between the police and the community, who had already mobilised in anticipation of the arrival of the police.
Police spokesperson Tembinkosi Kinana said despite insults and revolt by the members of the local community, the police remained calm, but determined to ensure that the child was rescued from the situation.
Kinana said the biological parents were summoned to Engcobo police station on Wednesday to meet with investigators and in order to determine the way forward regarding the future of the child.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Liziwe Ntshinga said as the police in the province, “we recognize the constitutional right of people to their culture and customs, but when that right is abused and found to be in conflict with the rights of the girl child to education and childhood, we have an obligation to step in and rescue the situation. And that is what we have done in this particular situation.”
Ntshinga warned those who were “hell-bent” on forcing young children into marriage to refrain from the habit, or face the long arm of the law.
A police officer in convversation with a member of the community ahead of a mission to rescue a minor from being forced into marriage. Picture: Supplied