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JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng government is offering psychological services for young girls in relationships with older men, MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu said on Friday.
This followed her visit to Pretoria where a Tshwane councillor was charged with statutory rape for allegedly being in a relationship with a teenage girl.
A photo of the councillor and the Grade 10 teenager went viral on social media this week.
“If you are a young girl and feel trapped in a relationship with an older man or you are a concerned family member of a young girl in an abusive relationship, call the Gauteng government public hotline on 086-00-11000,” Mahlangu said.
”While the Gauteng government respects the judicial processes that are currently underway, we appeal to all the people of Gauteng, especially men, to respect the rights of young girls and refrain from engaging in sexual activities with underage girls.”
Mahlangu was accompanied by the social cluster members of the Gauteng executive council.
The relationship reportedly started more two years ago when the girl was 16. She turned 18 this year, while the councillor is in his 50s.
The girl’s mother laid charges this week, assisted by the African National Congress Women’s League who argued that she was a minor and that there was no consensual sexual relations when the romantic relationship started more than two years ago.