Pupils warned to beware of sexual predators

Members of Umlazi SAPS Communication, Umlazi CPF, Umlazi Social Crime Prevention, Department of Social Development and Metro Police visited King Shaka High School in C Section, Umlazi.

Members of Umlazi SAPS Communications, Umlazi SAPS Social Crime Prevention, Umlazi CPF, Umlazi FCS, KZN Social Development and the Umlazi Youth Desk visited King Shaka High School as part of their Child Protection Week campaign.

The aim of the visit was to bring awareness to pupils on the importance of protecting themselves. This campaign began in 1997 and aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure the care and protection of children.

The campaign is led by the Minister of Social Development, however, it is incumbent on everyone to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them.

Children in South Africa live in a society with a constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution.

The aim of Child Protection Week is to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach.

Despite the best efforts of the South African government and civil society to protect children from child abuse, neglect and exploitation, many children still remain vulnerable. Reducing the high levels of violence against children is among South Africa’s most overwhelming tasks.

Despite the country’s progressive child protection laws, policies and programmes preventing and addressing violence against children, it remains a major challenge.

ALSO READ: Marklands pupils take a stand against abuse of women and children

Communications officer of Umlazi SAPS, Cpt Carmen Rhynes said, “Human trafficking known as ‘modern day slavery,’ where young girls, from as young as the age of five to 15 years, are being targeted and exploited. Young boys are also at risk, especially those who are young upcoming soccer players. The traffickers lure them into thinking they will be sent on soccer camps overseas or they can do jobs overseas that will earn them good money. Children are not just trafficked out of the country but also locally.”

She warned pupils to be aware of predators using social media platforms to lure them.  Cpt Muzi Twala from Umlazi Social Crime Prevention encouraged pupils to focus more on their education and not engage in any illegal activities that may lead them into having a criminal record which prevent them from getting into the working environment.

He explained that once the fingerprints are sent to Local Criminal Record Centre in Pretoria, it is entered into a data base system and stored for 10 years. 

Lt Col Nthombifuthi Mkhwanazi from Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations Unit encouraged the pupils to report sexual abuse immediately in order for evidence to not be distorted.

She also warned pupils not to open up false cases of rape to secure a free abortion or because of relationship quarrels with their boyfriends. 

Lt Col Mkhwanazi encouraged pupils to practice sexual abstinence in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexual-related illnesses. She told pupils that their main focus should be on education and reaching their full potential.

  AUTHOR
Nikita Chiniah
Journalist

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