INITIALLY the parents were up in arms thinking their 12-year-old girl had been molested.
All they could think of when they realised their girl was pregnant was that she had been raped by an older man.
Last week, they went to the Ulundi Police Station to open a rape case. However, through investigation, it turned out the girl was not raped.
She had been in a consensual relationship with a 15-year-old boy.
The news of her pregnancy sent shock waves in the conservative rural community of Thokazi Village in Nongoma, northern KZN.
A resident said: “We are all shocked as we’ve never had such an incident before. We hope this was the first and last incident in our area.” He blamed government for giving children too many rights.
According to Sexual Offences Act of 2007, children from 12 years of age are allowed to have sex with each other as long as it’s consensual and both are between the ages of 12 and 16. The resident said the boy was arrested and then released into the care of his parents.
CEO and founder of Bobbi Bear, an organisation that works with and helps sexually abused children, Jackie Branfield yesterday said she would like to see the consenting age go up to 18. “Everybody lost their minds when they came up with the Sexual Offences Act. How will a
12-year-old even raise and take care of a child?” asked Jackie.
KZN Department of Social Development spokeswoman Ncumisa Fandesi-Ndelu said: “We are working with the police, the families of both children and the accused through a probation officer.”
Captain Ntombi Gwala said: “The docket was sent to court. However, both the parents of the kids said they didn’t want to continue with the case anymore. We are waiting for the preliminary report from the social workers and the date the matter will go back to court.”