Cops set on preventing abduction of girls as wives

2011-08-31 16:10
KwaZulu-Natal police chief Mamunye Ngobeni has embarked on a campaign to end the abduction of young girls by men to make them their wives.

The commissioner took her campaign to end the practice of ukuthwala (abduction) to Bergville today, police spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe said.

Ngobeni decided to visit Bergville after a high school teacher there reported that about 20 of his pupils had been abducted.

The teacher complained that pupils were scared to go to school because they feared they would be abducted.

Ukuthwala involved a man and his peers setting out to compel a girl or young woman’s family to endorse marriage negotiations.

The tradition is practised mainly by Xhosa-speakers in the Eastern Cape and in parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

Radebe said Ngobeni told the girls of their rights and what to do when abducted.

She also told them that they could approach the police if their parents failed to do so.

There were cases where parents condoned the abduction of their children. In such incidents, the girls could report the matter to the police.