Parliament acts against sexual abuse of young athletes

Johannesburg – The Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture has resolved to take a stand against inappropriate violations of young athletes in South Africa by hosting workshops on abuse.

The Committee has also called on sports federations to revisit their policies on sexual abuse and ensure that they place the welfare of their athletes first.

Committee Chairperson, Beauty Dlulane, said this matter has been ignored for too long.

On Tuesday, the committee received a briefing from Swim South Africa on the prevalence of these matters and was informed that one disciplinary matter was abandoned because an athlete had opted to pursue a criminal case.

“The time has arrived for the committee to raise awareness on the matter. Many athletes are not only violated financially by sponsors and federations. This abuse extends to inappropriate and highly unacceptable behaviour by many coaches and trainers across sporting codes.”

Dlulane says “the impression must never be created that the committee could not conduct oversight on incidents of abuse.”

“We condemn these in the strongest possible terms as the impact is such, those young athletes carry the scars forever. Sexual abuse and violation of young athletes by those who coach them should draw the necessary attention and condemnation from society.”

Dlulane also added that sexual abuse cases should not be negotiable, perpetrators  must be disciplined and referred for criminal prosecution.

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