Pupils march to say 'no' to teenage sex

Hundreds of pupils from more than 10 schools in Mthatha marched through the streets of the town on Saturday morning in support of abstaining from sex.

The marchers, who started in front of the town hall just after 10am, made their way to the John Wesley Hall where they were addressed by speakers.

Event organiser Puleng Nayile, who is chairperson of Mthatha’s HIV/Aids Peer Educators, said the purpose of the march was to get the message of abstinence across to the youth.

“We talk of drugs or sex abstinence. We want teenagers to abstain from whatever kind of destruction that may prevent them from reaching their goals.

“We have young schoolgirls who do not go back to school after they fall pregnant. The message we are preaching is … they should not fall pregnant in the first place,” she said.

The 17-year-old Grade 11 pupil from Holy Cross High School said the message was not only directed at girls, but to boys and men also.

HIV/Aids co-ordinator in the Mthatha district Xoliswa Nodada said the march was in response to statistics released by the Department of Education on pregnancy among schoolgirls.

The statistics showed that a staggering 8427 schoolgirls fell pregnant in 2010 in the Eastern Cape.

Libode district recorded the highest number in the province, with 918 pregnant girls, followed by the Mthatha district with 728 pregnancies.

(This story is courtesy of The Dispatch. Used with permission.)