Youth need spirit of 1976: iLIVE
IT IS mind-boggling that some people seem to derive pleasure from violence.
Could it be that we, as humans, have regressed to a point where society has turned into something worse than a jungle?
In the wake of media reports about the number of youths involved in heinous acts, such as rape, one can't help but wonder about the kind of children we are raising.
Last week, when the country was celebrating Child Protection Week, we were again confronted by headlines about another rape of a mentally ill child.
Throughout this month, South Africans will be celebrating youth month in commemoration of the selfless youth who - 36 years ago - sacrificed their lives for a free and democratic South Africa.
What is happening now is a betrayal of the spirit of the 1976 generation who, to a large extent, helped bring us freedom and democracy.
The shocking incidents of sexual violence involving our youth undermine the freedom we have and all the gains that come with it.
Why would young people living in a democratic society, with opportunities, be indifferent to the values society is trying to inculcate?
One in three of the 4000 women questioned last year in a study by the Community of Information, Empowerment and Transparency said they had been raped in the past year.
Another survey conducted among 1500 pupils in Soweto showed that a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that "jackrolling", a term for forcefully taking a woman to rape her, was fun.
A 2010 study led by the Medical Research Foundation reported that, in Gauteng, more than 37% of men said they had raped a woman.
And nearly 7% of the 487 men surveyed said that they had participated in a gang rape.
All these reports clearly paint a bleak picture and say more needs to be done to educate our youth about what is good and bad.
Of serious concern is the increasing number of innocent children with disabilities who are being targeted and raped.
The scourge of these crimes evidently undermines the hard-earned gains for which our youth of 1976 fought so hard.
While the government and other stakeholders are doing their bit in the fight against sexual violence, our youth need to take the lead in the fight against such crimes instead of being the perpetrators.
The youth should become part of the solution , and they should help encourage a democratic society based on justice and respect for all . - Melitah Madiba, Gauteng Office of the Premier, writing in her personal capacity