The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has called on the National Prosecuting Authority to take swift action against any perpetrators of statutory rape.
This as the Basic Education Department introduced a policy that will compel schools to report the impregnation of learners, younger than 16 years, by older men to the police.
The policy will come into effect in January 2022.
“The Commission has repeatedly called for the law to be applied to curb the growing scourge of statutory rape in South Africa, which has seen thousands of underage girls, some as young as 10 years, drop out of school due to early pregnancy.
“The Commission has confidence that the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will play their part to ensure that every case of statutory rape is thoroughly investigated and successfully prosecuted,” it said in a statement.
The CGE called on community members to report any inappropriate relationships between children and adults.
“The Commission is also aware that the issue of teenage pregnancy is multi-sectoral and calls all role players and citizenry to be vigilant and report any relationship between an adult and a minor as part of the child protection initiative.”
The commission said with the holiday season upon the country, more vigilance is needed to curb any form of abuse.
“As citizens celebrate the festive holiday season, more women and young girls may fall victim to sexual and gender-based violence. The Commission calls for families and communities to report any incidents of abuse to the nearest police station.”
Source: South African Government News Agency