Traditional leaders debate ukuthwala

The cultural practice, defined as marriage by capture, has seen girls as young as 12 kidnapped and married.

The CRL Rights Commission says it will not tolerate the abduction of young girls under the guise of the cultural practice of ukuthwala. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) says it will not tolerate the abduction of young girls under the guise of the cultural practice of ukuthwala.

Delegates, including traditional leaders, are gathered in Sandton for the launch of a research report on the abductions.

The commission says it's concerned about the victimisation of rural women and children who are falling victim to violent and distorted forms of the practice.

The cultural practice, which is defined as marriage by capture, has seen a recent trend of girls as young as 12 being kidnapped and married.

CRL chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says South Africans cannot continue to defend such crimes as cultural acts.

The commission says the origins of the ukuthwala do not condone the abduction of children or rape, crimes that have increasingly been reported in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.