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The ANC Youth League calls on the public prosecutor to DROP charges against Jules High School learners

18 November 2010

The African National Congress Youth League humbly requests the Public Prosecutor, Adv Menzi Simelane to drop criminal charges against the three Jules High School learners for what was initially reported as rape, if the incident is really not rape. In full respect of the rule of law and all criminal procedures that exist, the ANC Youth League does not believe that criminally prosecuting children will correct their behaviour.

The unfortunate incident at Jules High School is an indication of deeper issues that must be resolved in society and specifically through interventions of amongst others, the education system, communities, parents, religious formations and real non-governmental organisations. The ANCYL does not believe that the behaviour of the learners should go unnoticed and once again calls on young people to focus on education and skills attainment. Nonetheless, criminal prosecution of children will never be a solution.

The ANCYL calls upon the management, teachers and school governing body of Jules High School to investigate the deeper issues that are underlying such alleged behaviour and put into place adequate corrective mechanisms of counselling and life-skills coaching and guidance which can be pursued to correct the kids rather than placing them under punitive actions of the law.

The role of the education system should be to holistically develop a child so as to make a successful transition into the adulthood, prosecuting these children would not resolve the problem. The ANCYL calls upon society to see this as a means of intervening proactively in the lives of all young children and guiding them towards development.

There is no doubt that under-age sex is prohibited by law, but South Africa`s criminal justice system should begin to explore alternate corrective models of justice, than possible imprisonment, which will alienate these children from society and opportunities in the future.

Issued by the ANC Youth League