Three arrests over teen’s ‘wedlock’

Three men have been arrested in connection with the controversial ‘ukuthwala’ custom involving a teenager and a man 11 years her senior.
The suspects include two relatives of the 15-year-old girl – her maternal grandfather and a great-uncle, aged 70 and 51 respectively – and the would-be husband, who is 26.
They are all due to appear in the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Captain Anelisa Feni, of the Hawks, said the suspects had been arrested by the serious organised crime unit in the Ntlazi Bhaziya Administrative Area, Mthatha, last Saturday.
It was alleged that the two relatives had negotiated on behalf of the 15-year-old schoolgirl and deceived her into undergoing the tradition of ukuthwala with the 26-year-old man, Feni said.
The teenager lives at Mahibe in the Mbolompo Administrative Area, Mthatha, with her mother and her 70-year-old grandfather.
“The Hawks received information concerning this incident. They found the 15-year-old in the home of the 26-year-old man in Ntlazi. The minor was immediately moved to a place of safety in Mthatha,” Feni said.

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