The Nelson Mandela Child Fund has released an alarming reporting, revealing that at least three children are murdered per day in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the organisation’s 2023 State of Child Wellness Report, Mandela Fund CEO, Dr Linda Ncube-Nkomo, said the South African society has launched a war against its children.
She’s urged adults to consider more closely how they treats the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
Non-governmental organisations, who advocate for the rights of children, were also in attendance.
They say violence against children is going largely under-reported.
The community-based NGOs warned that the deepening poverty and hunger in the townships has left young girls vulnerable to the dangers of the “blesser culture”.
Community organiser, Ma Mpho Masienyane, says as a result – young girls are left prey to eager abusers in a bid to go to bed with a full stomach.
She says many of the young women they have spoke to, some as young as 15, say they’d risk STIs and and even HIV infection, if it meant that they would not have to go bed hungry.
According to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, nearly 70% of black South African families live below the poverty line.
Fund CEO Dr Linda Ncube- Nkomo closed her address by reminding society that it can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the abuse and suffering of young people.
The release of the report coincided with the commemoration of the World Children’s Day, which is aimed at taking stock of not only achievements but also on the remaining progress that’s needed to fulfill the rights of every child. Article by Naomi Kobbie
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena