Kids step in against abuse

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

The orphaned, homeless and school children took a two-day 200-kilometre walk from Rustenburg to Mafikeng, North West, as part of the 16 days campaign of no violence against women and children.

Premier Edna Molewa joined about 100 children on Tuesday as they stopped and interacted with other children in Tlhabane, Zeerust and Ottosdal.

"You must know your rights so that those of you who are victims of abuse can come out and speak about it.

"You must also know that the law protects you against abuse and therefore you should not be afraid to expose it regardless of who the perpetrator is," said Molewa in Rustenburg before the walk to Mafikeng.

The Walk for the Rights of the Child was aimed at creating awareness about the importance of children's rights.

The children, aged between 13 and 18 reached Mafikeng yesterday evening.

They were led by 13-year-old Aids orphan and singer Gabatshwane Gumede.

Gumede is also South African Ambassador for the Rights of the Child under the UN Convention on Children's Rights.

Meanwhile, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union at Johannesburg Hospital also campaigned for the recognition of the rights of women and children.

"As health workers we treat and look after abused victims, and it is not a pretty sight.

"This has to stop," said spokesman Danny Losaba.