The MEC for Social Development, Ms Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana, has warned that she will make sure that “blessers” who impregnate school children will be arrested.
She addressed a gathering during the celebration of National Children’s Day held at Tshilidzini Special School last Saturday. She threatened that she would make sure that men who impregnated under-aged children were traced and reported to the police, so that they must face the full might of the law.
Mokaba-Phukwana, who has already started with a programme of visiting schools around the province, said she would continue with the programme. The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province recently revealed that more than 600 schoolgirls fall pregnant every year in Limpopo schools.
The allegation has also been made that more than 40 cases of physical and sexual abuse have been reported during the past three years. These cases led to the dismissal of eight educators.
Limpopo recorded a 20% increase in girls’ pregnancy cases reported between 2014 and 2016.
Recently, Mokaba-Phukwana and her counterpart, Dr Phophi Ramathuba of the Health Department, visited Vhembe where they found that 36 girls were pregnant at Mukhwantheli Secondary School in Dididi. The visit also established that 31 learners aged between nine and 19 from primary and secondary schools in the same area had tested HIV positive.
Mokaba-Phukwana advised learners to stay away from blessers who lure them with a wealthy lifestyle. She also encouraged them to focus on their studies, so that they can have a bright future. “We are going to continue with our programme of visiting schools. When we are there, if we find that there are children who were impregnated by older men, we will trace them and refer their cases to law-enforcement agencies to deal with them.”