The Human Rights Commission(HRC) in the North West is investigating allegations that some grade-12 pupils in a North West village were forcibly injected with contraceptives.

The pupils are from the Pitso-Letlhogile secondary school in Phaposane village. They say nurses arrived at their school and administered pregnancy tests in the presence of other pupils.

Those found to be pregnant or already using contraceptives were not injected.

The pupils were allegedly given a contraceptive injection without their parents knowledge. However, parents are fuming.

“My child said there are a lot of children at their school who fall pregnant. So that is why they were given the injection,” says one angry parent.

“If our children get sick, who will we blame because we don’t know people who injected them?” adds another parent.

Meanwhile, the Education Department says they do not need parents consent.

“These learners that we are talking about are over 17/18/19 years. Themselves, they consented. According to health, when a person is above 16 that person can take any decision.”

The Health Department’s only regret is not having tangible proof of consent.

“The parents were not informed. The learners consented verbally. We now see it’s a loophole that needs to be addressed, so that next time we don’t have this problem,” said Elias Malindi; NW Education Departmental spokesperson.

The North West Human Rights Commission’s Mpho Bokanyo says, “We just commenced with our investigation. So we are not at a point where we have made findings. All that we can say is that we understand the state’s initiatives to combat teenage pregnancy, but we are saying that at the same time, human rights have to be observed and respected at all times.”

Some of the children say they have been experiencing side-effects including constant headaches and dizziness.

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