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Parliament of South Africa

10/17/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/17/2019 05:03

Committee Concerned about Infringement of Boys Rights in School

Parliament, Thursday, 17 October 2019 - The Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba, said the committee remains committed to working with the relevant stakeholders in ensuring that gender-based violence (GBV) is addressed.

The committee notes with concern the recent media reports about alleged instances between an educator and learners at a boy's high school in Cape Town.

Ms Ncube-Ndaba said: 'It is disconcerting that spaces intended to be safe for children to learn and thrive, are nodes in which gender-based violence is perpetrated.'

The committee commends the courage of the boy and many other boys who have stepped forward and said 'not in my name, me too'. It was not so long ago that scholars across Cape Town protested to stand in solidarity and say #EnoughisEnough.

The committee said the exploitation of learners in schools by persons in positions of power - in this case an educator - has become far too common. Whilst the committee respects the processes underway to deal with the matter, the committee urges the Department of Basic Education to revisit its policies in schools - as all children have a right to be safe, including the boy child. Notwithstanding the importance of focusing on the girl child, the boy child cannot and should not be left behind. The Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act makes clear provision for what constitutes rape, sexual assault and sexual grooming.

As such, attention should be given to focus on whether the current provisions that are in place within schools are adequate to deal with:

  • Reporting process for children as victims of GBV
  • Prevention of secondary abuse - dealing with victimisation
  • Support interventions in place for victims
  • Vetting of persons employed to work with children in our schools

In the committee's recent engagements with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, and the Commission for Gender Equality's annual reports, the issue of dedicated programmes focused on the boy child and men was raised.

The committee remains dedicated to its oversight with a focus on realising the rights of women, youth and person with disabilities.

The committee was of the view that issues of violence and abuse can only be adequately addressed with a holistic approach that brings together all key stakeholders. Furthermore, there is a need to explore the systematic factors and power dynamics that leave children vulnerable to abuse.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN, YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, MS NONHLANHLA NCUBE-NDABA.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee's Media Officer:

Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8203
Cell: 081 497 4694
E-mail: [email protected]