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Domestic CP - August 2003

Corpun file 11730

Botswana Daily News Online (BOPA - Botswana Press Agency), 1 August 2003

'Corporal punishment the only answer'

Balete paramount chief Mosadi Seboko has expressed faith in corporal punishment as remedy for the waywardness of today's youth.

Speaking in a kgotla meeting addressed by an official of Child-Line Botswana in Ramotswa on Thursday, Seboko berated the organisation for campaigning against this form of punishment.

She was adamant that corporal punishment was the only medicine that could curb bad behaviour among the youth.

Seboko complained about the rising number of children who misbehave and refuse to reform, despite her efforts and those of social workers.

Other speakers at the meeting accused Child-Line Botswana of causing conflict between parents and their children by telling the latter they had rights.

The speakers who were fuming stated that the youth indulged in all kinds of mischief and bad behaviour such as drugs and alcohol abuse, and gangsterism, adding that they ran to Child-Line when punished.

One of the speakers claimed that the organisation's aim was to cause children to turn against their parents.

Others felt it was children who abused their parents physically and emotionally and not the other way round, saying that children should also be told to heed the advice of their parents.

Addressing the meeting earlier on, a social worker from Child-Line Botswana, Bona Pheko urged the parents to talk to their children instead of beating them as it could negatively affect them as they grew up.

Pheko said her organisation was against corporal punishment as it was not the only solution to mischief. Pheko said Child-Line was formed in 1991 to address issues of child abuse.

She denied that her organisation encourages children to disrespect their parents and invited parents who had problems talking to their children to seek their help.

In addition, Child-Line was visiting schools mainly to teach children their rights and encourage them to report any incident of abuse.

Pheko said they had received 250 cases of child abuse since beginning of this year and expressed fear that the number might increase.

She also told her audience that some signs of child abuse are depression, bed wetting, lack of concentration and infection by sexually transmitted diseases. BOPA

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