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Gender commission welcomes pupil pregnancy stance by government

23 December 2021 - 08:15
The department of basic education says schools will be compelled to open cases with the police when underage pupils are impregnated by adults. File photo.
The department of basic education says schools will be compelled to open cases with the police when underage pupils are impregnated by adults. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Schools will be compelled to open cases with the police when pupils under the age of 16 are impregnated by people older than them, says the Commission for Gender Equality.

Welcoming the move, the commission said this was confirmed by the department of basic education this week.

Chairperson Tamara Mathebula said the commission has repeatedly called for the law to be applied to curb the growing scourge of statutory rape in SA, which has seen thousands of under-age girls, some as young as 10, drop out of school due to early pregnancy.

“The commission has confidence that the police and the National Prosecuting Authority will play their part to ensure that every case of statutory rape is thoroughly investigated and successfully prosecuted,” she said.

“The commission is also aware that the issue of teenage pregnancy is multisectoral 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.”

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