Rampant teenage pregnancies threatening the future of South African girls

Teenagers’ lives at stake, as pregnancy cases escalate. [Image: Courtesy]
South Africa—Teenage pregnancy has been an anthem in South Africa in the recent past. With statistics revealing that close to 23,000 girls between the age of 10 and 19 were impregnated in April 2020 and March 2021.

In the northwest of Johannesburg Cosmo City, a 16-year old girl who is just three weeks to conceiving is among the 23,000 girls who have encountered the unfortunate at a tender age.

For privacy, we shall nickname the girl, Bonakele.

Bonakele’s story sends chills to any human being, is scarier to parents, and is stubborn to her colleague young girls. The victim was raped in December last year, by a man said to be very old than her by far. The man lives in the same community as Bonakele.

After Johannesburg’s Department of Health report about the 23,000 expectant children, about 3,000 opted to abort their pregnancies a move that Bonakale was too late to take.

“When she came to us, she was 15 about to turn 16. We had to refer the matter (to a medical center) because she passed the 20 weeks (the threshold for termination) when she came to us. Obviously, by the law, we could not do that and we don’t generally deal with such cases,” spoke Ngaa Murombezi of the non-profit organization Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMA).

According to Murombedzi, Bonaklale had to come to them for help through a community member, Nomsa Dumbisa.

“I decided to assist when her mother broke down and told me about this in June. The child has spoken about the help (after it happened) and was taken to the doctor and police station. She was given medication at the hospital, but we don’t know what the instruction was because a few months later her mother noticed she was pregnant.” Said Dumbisa.

According to Dumbisa the expectant teen had made up her mind and was not ready for the child. Affirming that she will kill the baby when given.