ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL
significance of this day in the current South African context must not be
underestimated. Internationally children remain the victims of aggression in
areas of conflict, the child soldiers of Sierra Leone and other African conflict
areas come to mind.
Let us not forget that locally, our children and youth are exposed to
unacceptably high levels of violence and crime. Recently several children died
in an attack on a Chatsworth club, a student was shot at the University of
Durban Westville, and another was shot during unrest in Alexandra. We
have in recent times seen violence at schools in Potchefstroom, Kwa Thema and
the Cape Flats.
The Cape Flats, as well as other large communities across the country, is home
to thousands of gangs. These gangs are guilty of armed robbery, assault, murder
and rape on a huge scale; the victims are often children. In addition, countless
children are victims in turf wars between gangs.
South Africa is also not a safe place for our daughters with the rape of minors
at horrific levels. The UDM recently exposed that in one area, Port Elizabeth
and Uitenhage, in one year (1998) there were 867 reported cases of rape of
minors. Less than half of the cases went to court; only 7.7% resulted in guilty
verdicts! 800 reported rapists of children, in that area alone, are still
As South Africans we should do more to ensure that our country is a safe and
productive environment for our children. As citizens we deserve better service
from Government with regard to this issue specifically. If the current situation
is the foundation that we are laying, we cannot expect our children to build a
democratic, peaceful and productive South Africa in the future. Let us not be
the generation that is remembered for our selfishness, who would not leave
behind the inheritance of democracy and human rights that we held in our hands.
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Acting Secretary General
04 June 2000