No le­niency on ini­ti­a­tion

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional MEC Fik­ile Xasa told mem­bers of the Matatiele and Mount Fletcher Ini­ti­a­tion Prac­ti­tion­ers (MMIP) that the govern­ment would con­tinue to ex­e­cute the Cus­tom­ary Male Ini­ti­a­tion Prac­tice Act through­out the Prov­ince in­clud­ing in Matatiele.

Speak­ing in a brief­ing ses­sion dur­ing his visit to the tra­di­tional lead­ers in the Ma­luti Re­gion Xasa said Ul­waluko (tra­di­tional ini­ti­a­tion) was an is­sue for the coun­try and the na­tion. For this rea­son, the govern­ment got in­volved in the prac­tice of the cus­toms “only to save lives of abakhwetha”.

The MEC was re­spond­ing to a re­quest by mem­bers of the MMIP to sus­pend the Act in the Matatiele and Mount Fletcher ar­eas un­til 2019. Chiefs ar­gued that their plan for the ini­ti­a­tion sea­sons were well in place by the time the act was passed in Novem­ber last year.

“We have noted the con­cerns raised by mem­bers of the Ini­ti­a­tion Prac­ti­tion­ers. The Act has led to the re­duc­tion of the number of deaths and in­juries of abakhwetha in the last win­ter sea­son hence we can­not sus­pend it any­where in the Prov­ince in­clud­ing in Matatiele,” said Xasa.

“Govern­ment is ready to be ad­vised and be guided on mat­ters per­tain­ing to safe ini­ti­a­tion,” he said.

Mean­while, Xasa en­cour­aged royal fam­i­lies to work hard to strengthen and sta­bilise tra­di­tional lead­er­ship in­sti­tu­tions in the Prov­ince to re­solve the ex­ist­ing and re­main­ing tra­di­tional lead­er­ship dis­putes.

“Tra­di­tional lead­ers must pro­tect their in­sti­tu­tion from be­ing a money mak­ing in­sti­tu­tion. The claims and dis­putes con­tinue to tar­nish the im­age and un­der­mine the dig­nity of the in­sti­tu­tion,” said Xasa.

Xasa also called on tra­di­tional lead­ers to work for an end to trib­al­ism to build one South African na­tion based on the val­ues of a united, non-racial, demo­cratic and non-sex­ist South Africa.

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