MEC Patricia De Lille Wants Khayelitsha to Help Department Eradicate Violence Against Children | Western Cape Government


MEC Patricia De Lille Wants Khayelitsha to Help Department Eradicate Violence Against Children

12 October 2010

Social Development Minister Patricia de Lille has gone into Khayelitsha this morning with the message - "Ukuzala kukuzolula."

Citing the recent incident where a 4-year old girl from Khayelitsha was brutally raped, the Department is raising awareness in Kuyasa about the need for parents, caregivers, the community and community structures to care for and protect children, and to be vigilant at all times.

'This Xhosa idiom, "Ukuzala kukuzolula", is used when people are excited about having a child,' Ms De Lille says.

'Giving birth to a child means that this child can one day help you with some of your responsibilities. But today I want to remind mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers and extended family and communities in general that until your child is big it is your responsibility to keep your child safe.

'Family and community will only benefit from the birth of a child if that child is nurtured and loved,' says De Lille.

'I have faith that we can eradicate child abuse together. The community of the Green Point Informal Settlement has shown us how to do it - instead of just believing the kidnapping story told by the 17-year old girl, they remembered seeing the girl with her baby and came forward to alert the authorities immediately,' De Lille says.

'This is a very powerful expression of the belief that says "your child is my child".

Statistics from the SAPS shows that Harare police station in Khayelitsha that covers the suburb of Kuyasa, had 127 reported cases of rape for the last 6 months. Although this data is not disaggregated by SAPS, the after hour service provided by a Khayelitsha social worker showed that for the period 1 April to 30 September 13 children were victims of rape and 3 children were victims of attempted rape in Kuyasa.

'Of course, this does not include the number of children who are abused and raped by relatives and, due to complicated family power dynamics do not come forward to tell us what is going on,' says the Minister.

'My message to the community today is that the tendency by family members to keep quiet for fear of shame being brought onto the family name, must stop.

'Let us break the silence around child abuse and report the perpetrators to the police,' De Lille says.

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