Women: Testing time for ’16 days of activism’

In 2002, 13-year old Lerato (not her real name) was raped by her schoolteacher. Lerato claimed to have been raped several times. The schoolteacher took her to Summerstrand, bought KFC and drinks for both of them before going to bed at his place.Lerato was a victim of circumstance. She was looking for happiness in the company of a teacher. When Lerato’s mother tried to report the case to the School Governing Body (SGB) she received several threatening letters warning her that if she continued disturbing the SGB, legal action would be taken against her.What opened the river of tears for Lerato’s mother was being threatened by the people who are supposed to stand by her, the principal and the SGB.Lerato’s case was swept under the carpet even though the alleged perpetrator admitted having sexual intercourse with her and wrote a letter to the child asking for her forgiveness. This is an insult to Lerato and all other rape survivors.But Lerato is not alone. There are now so many child rapes at our schools, that there is a danger of us accepting Lerato’s case as a common case.How can our schools become centres of excellence under these conditions?

Fathers rape their own childrenFathers have been raping their own children for years knowing that they are not going to be arrested. The 16 days of activism might just be a waste of time and money if Lerato’s perpetrators and other cases like hers are not brought to book. It will only imprint a sad memory on those victims of rape.And yet both the Child Care Act and Domestic Violence Act say that a person who knows or suspects criminal behaviour against children can be held as an accomplice to the crime if s/he does not report the matter to the police within a reasonable period.If Lerato’s case is investigated, there are people who may be held for professional negligence, including teachers. Today teaching is no longer respected because of certain teachers who have failed their communities.

Female teachers must speak upThe time is long overdue for female teachers to speak up, break the silence, your powerful voices are important. Declare publicly your support, make the 16-day awareness campaign against the abuse of women and children an everyday campaign! And my message to the SGB of Lerato’s school comes from Martin Luther King:”We know how to love, and yet we hate, we take the precious lives that God has given us and throw them away in riotous living. We are unfaithful to those to whom we should be faithful, we are disloyal to those ideals to which we should be loyal.”

Izikhathi ezinzima “˜zezinsuku eziyi-16 zezinsuku zokuzabalaza’Uma ngabe labo abadlwengula futhi bahlukumeze izingane bengalethwa emthethweni ngalezi “˜zinsuku eziyi-16 zokuzabalazela udlame oluqondiswe kwabesifazane nasezinganeni’, umkhankaso lo ungabe “˜uwukuchitha isikhathi nemali’ kusho umsebenzi we-VWSA, uVuyisile kaFundakubi. Ukuthembela kubantu abadala entombazaneni eneminyaka eyi-13 ubudala, uLerato (akusilo igama lakhe langempela) kwafa lapho uthisha wakhe emdlwengula izikhathi eziningi. Lapho umama wakhe ezama ukukhalaza eMkhandlwini Ophethe Isikole (School Governing Body (SGB)), uMkhandlu wamesabisa ngokumthathela izinyathelo zomthetho. Kodwa uthisha ongumdlwenguli yena akaze aboshwe.
Toetstyd vir “˜16 dae van aktivisme’Tensy diegene wat kinders verkrag en mishandel, tydens die ’16 dae van aktivisme teen geweld teen vroue en kinders’ aan die man gebring word, dan sou die veldtog “˜n “verkwisting van tyd en geld wees”, meen VWSA-werker, Vuyisile ka Fundakubi. 13 jaar oue Lerato (nie haar regte naam nie) se vertroue in volwassenes is verbreek toe haar onderwyser haar herhaaldelik verkrag het. Toe haar ma by die Skoolbeheerraad probeer kla het, het dié Raad haar met regsaksie gedreig. Maar die verkragter-onderwyser is nooit aangekla nie.
Nako ya teko bakeng sa ‘letsholo la matsatsi a 16 la ho itela mosebetsing o itseng’Ha bao ba betang mme ba hlekefetsa le bana le basadi ba sa hlahiswe pepeneneng, letsholo la “˜matsatsi a 16 a ho itela ho lwantshana le tshebediso ya dikgoka kgahlanong le bana le basadi’, e tla be e le “tshenyo ya nako le tjhelete feela” ho rialo mosebeletsi wa VWSA, Vuyisile ka Fundakubi. Lerato (eo e seng lebitso la hae la nnete) ya dilemo di 13 boholo o ile a fellwa ke tshepo bathong ba baholo ha titjhere wa hae a ne a mo beta ka makgetlo a mmalwa. Ha mme wa hae a ne a leka ho tletleba Lekgotleng le Laolang Sekolo (SGB), Lekgotla lona le ile la mo tshosa ka hore le tla mo nkela mehato ya semolao. Empa titjhere eo ya betang yena ha a ka a qoswa.