NPA probes sangoma’s teen marriage

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Polokwane - The apparent marriage of a 13-year-old Limpopo girl to a 57-year-old traditional healer is being probed, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday.

Police were proceeding with investigations, after which a decision would be made regarding the appropriate criminal charges, said NPA spokesman Medupe Simasiku.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recognises the caution with which the prosecutor treated the matter by declining to prosecute, pending further investigations,” said Simasiku.

The sangoma was arrested on January 23 after a villager complained to social workers.

However, charges against him were later withdrawn, as the girl's parents had consented to the marriage.

The girl's mother reportedly said the sangoma treated her daughter for two years and cured her epilepsy.

The sangoma then told her ancestors were troubling the girl and she needed to be monitored. He offered to marry her.

Simasiku said authorities had made the teenager's well-being a priority.

“To this end, the magistrate ordered the child's removal and placement in temporary safe care, in terms of the Children's Act, while the investigation is underway,” said Simasuku.

The social development department has since announced that the girl is in a place of safety.

The NPA promised to issue a statement when a decision had been made. - Sapa


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