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Child labour flayed

By Siyabonga Mhlongo | Dec 21, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

NOLWAZI Phohlwane was described by her peers, family, teachers, church members and community as one of a kind.

The 15-year-old girl from Mahlongwa on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast, who was raped, stabbed several times and stoned, was laid to rest at the local cemetery yesterday.

Her funeral was attended by provincial MEC for social development Meshack Radebe. The department also paid for her funeral.

The Grade 4 pupil was allegedly killed by a person known to her family and community. She met her brutal death while allegedly looking for "'piece work" as a domestic worker. Her assailant is allegedly a friend of one of her four brothers.

Speaking at the funeral school principal Neli Zamisa described her as a very fast learner. She was the oldest in her class but this did not put her off.

"But I must let you know that it saddens me that learners like her are at times forced to go and look for jobs," she said.

"No child should be responsible for the upkeep of her family, especially not at her age, while she had parents and older brothers and sisters."

Zamisa said many children in the Mahlongwa area were dropping out of school at a very young age.

In his condolences to the family Radebe said he was deeply disappointed that children in the area are forced to do hard labour.

"No children under the age of 15 should be looking for a job or have one, because they can get a child support grant," Radebe said.

"It is sad that Nolwazi was brutally killed while searching for a job, something she should not have been doing in the first place."

Radebe instructed social workers from his department to investigate who exactly in the area was offering jobs to minors and also find out why many children in the area did not attend school.

"This is not acceptable since the government has set aside R150million in funds for those in need," he said.

Nolwazi's alleged killer will appear for the second time in the Scottsburg magistrate's court today for a bail application.

He faces charges of rape, murder and escaping.


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