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‘Open your books and close your legs’ – Limpopo health MEC slammed over back to school message

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has been criticised on social media after a video of her advising schoolgirls to "open their books and close their legs".
Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has been criticised on social media after a video of her advising schoolgirls to "open their books and close their legs".
Image: ALAISTER RUSSELL

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has been criticised on social media after a video of her advising schoolgirls to “open your books and close your legs”.

Ramathuba visited Gwenane secondary school in Sekgakgapeng on Wednesday to monitor the first day of the new academic year. 

During her visit, she told the pupils to focus on their studies and not on sexual activities, to reduce teenage pregnancy at schools.

“Some young people have contracted HIV/Aids because they are with older people, they want blessers. The smartphone and Brazilian hair they bought you doesn’t come for free, it comes with a disease. We should ban these Brazilian hair extensions in our schools,” said Ramathuba.

“To the girl child I say: Open your books, and close your legs. Don’t open your legs, open your books. Thank you very much!” she added.

Watch the full video below

Stats SA report on teenage pregnancy revealed that 33,899 births registered in 2020 were to mothers aged 17 years and younger. More than 600 of the girls were aged between 10 and 13 years.

Figures for national deliveries in facilities by the Department of Health revealed that 132,612 girls aged 15 to 19 fell pregnant in 2020 and a further 35,209 between January and March 2021. 

On social media, many slammed Ramathuba for giving “deeply problematic” advice, saying she should be telling “the boys to keep their zips closed”. 

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say:


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