The Inkatha Freedom Party welcomes the 10-year sentence handed down to a 43-year-old man, who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in the KwaDukuza Magistrate Magistrate’s Court.
In June 2019, Jacobus Pieter de Wet’s cell phone, containing pornographic material featuring children, was found in a store.
First and foremost, the IFP commends the Judge responsible in this case for ensuring that justice prevailed. The IFP calls on other judges to follow suit and not showing any mercy to persons involved in child pornography. Further, those found guilty must have their names recorded in the National Register for Sex Offenders.
Child pornography is of particular concern in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as child-trafficking and related issues. The IFP believes that this sentence will send a strong message to those who are preying on young children and see them as their sex objects. Child sex offenders are very manipulative, conniving and persistent in their efforts to exploit children. They take advantage of the internet and online tools to lure potential victims, produce child sexual material, and then upload and disseminate the material. It is crucial to have support systems in place for children who are enduring the horrific impact of sexual exploitation and abuse – both online and offline. Sexual exploitation of a child in any form is a gross violation of that child’s human rights.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could act before any innocent child was harmed? Shouldn’t we be trying to get paedophiles into therapy before they succumb to temptation? Shouldn’t we help potential paedophiles before they become child abusers? These are important questions that should form the basis of public discourse around child safety. Sexual abuse and exploitation have consequences for the healthy development of children, mentally and emotionally.
The IFP believes that priorities for action must include both prevention and swift responses, because a solely reactive response is unlikely to bring an overall decline in the extent of the problem. Prevention must start at the level of social workers, primary healthcare workers and family members.
National and Provincial governments carry the ultimate responsibility to ensure that the rights of children are protected and that resources are provided for this purpose.
The IFP calls for more awareness of child sexual abuse. Prevention Education is not Sexual Education. Often, when adults are anxious about sexual abuse prevention education, it is because they are focusing on the word “sexual,” rather than “abuse prevention.” Effective sexual abuse prevention programmes do not teach sex education, nor do they provide children with graphic details about sexual activity. Effective programs focus on the dignity of the human person, the qualities of right relationships, and what to do if a relationship isn’t right.
The IFP encourages parents to have a conversation with their children about protecting their body, actions they can take if they receive an unsafe touch, and whom they can tell. Parents should identify two or three trusted adults that children can turn to if they are troubled about something.
Finally, parents are encouraged to reinforce in their children that it is never their fault if they receive an unsafe touch – the blame always rests with the adult. Parents need to instil the confidence that they will be understanding and supportive if something does happen to their child.
Hon Les Govender, MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
083 9744 894