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Ukuthwala (forced marriages) under spotlight on Women's Day


The Hawks will be hosting a Trafficking in Persons Awareness campaign mainly focusing on Ukuthwala at the Kraal of Chief Makawula near Mthatha on Wednesday.

Ukuthwala is the practice of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage, often with the consent of their parents.

The practice occurs mainly in rural parts of South Africa, in particular, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Hawks spokesperson, Captain Anelisa Feni, says they chose that area, because of they are investigating three cases of Ukuthwala there.

She says they are targeting the old Transkei where it still occurs because of cultural belief.

Feni says the awareness campaign is to educate people that Ukuthwala is now a crime under the Trafficking in Persons Act.

"We have seven cases in total of Ukuthwala, some are in Cala, Ngobo and three in Bizya," she says.

Feni added that they also have a case in Port Elizabeth, but the people involved are originally from Mthatha.

Many people who live in the rural areas do not realise that this practice is now a crime.