One Sided Reporting on the Illegality of Prostitution (11 October 2002)

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Dear Editor

We are very disappointed in the Cape Times (10/10/2002) reporting on the illegality of prostitution. Surely journalism is about covering both sides of the story? I appreciate the pressure brought on by deadlines, but could Tony Weaver find no-one who was glad about the ruling?

Prostitution is in itself degrading to women, it is conducive to violent abuse of the prostitutes by both customers and pimps, it is associated with and encourages trafficking in women, it leads to child prostitution, it carries an intensified risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases, it goes hand in hand with drug abuse, it has close connections with assault, rape and even murder and it is a frequent and persistent cause of public nuisance (from Doctors for Life press statement).

Cape Town is an incredibly beautiful city and a delight for tourists. The Cape Town Partnership has done great work to clean up the streets. In contrast, Sheryl Ozinsky (the tourism manager employed and paid by the Cape Town City Council) would like to see prostitution legal. Of course visitors visiting prostitutes are vulnerable - but will they be safer if it is legal? If a prostitute tests positive for HIV would an employer be able to stop him or her from "working", with South Africa's labour laws? Condoms have some effectiveness, but if Ms. Ozinsky is really concerned about visitors, how can she expect them to trust their lives to a very thin, fallible piece of latex?

Cape Town has better assets than the bodies of our women and children. It is a pity that the Cape Times was unable to see that the illegality of prostitution could possibly be positive.

Jeanine McGill
National Co-ordinator

"Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life." Proverbs 6:25-26

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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