Mvezo com­mu­nity gets meat for Qur­bani


THERE were scenes of joy at Mvezo, the moun­tain­ous birth­place of Nel­son Man­dela and the court of the area’s chiefs, when 10 cows were slaugh­tered as part of the Is­lamic Eid ul-Adha fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val re­mem­bers Abra­ham’s sac­ri­fice when his son was re­placed by a ram.

Called Qur­bani, the meat is distribute­d to the poor. Hun­dreds from the Mvezo com­mu­nity, a ru­ral district 40km south of Mthatha, queued up for the sac­ri­fi­cial meat un­der the eye of Inkosi (Chief) Zwe­liv­elile Mandla Man­dela.

The cows were do­nated by the NGO Awqaf South Africa and the Turk­ish Diyanet Vakfi.

Speak­ing to tribal el­ders, guests and com­mu­nity mem­bers, Man­dela said the Transkei had a pre­cious re­source – its land – and mas­sive po­ten­tial.

There were 3.2 mil­lion cows, 6 mil­lion sheep and 7 mil­lion goats in the re­gion and lo­cal farm­ers needed to be em­pow­ered in an­i­mal hus­bandry.

“An ox, for ex­am­ple, is bought for R2000 by a white farmer, fat­tened for 60 days and then resold for R17000. We need to break this cy­cle.

“We need to ed­u­cate our farm­ers to ben­e­fit di­rectly from their own re­sources,” he said.

Man­dela also said aloes, which grew on the hill­sides, were an un­tapped nat­u­ral re­source. En­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able meth­ods of har­vest­ing had to be ex­plored.

Man­dela also an­nounced that Mthatha would be get­ting its first mosque, which would be funded by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment.

On a tour of the Man­dela School of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Man­dela said ed­u­ca­tion had to be a fo­cus of the coun­try’s ne­glected ru­ral ar­eas. He said there were still vil­lages with­out run­ning wa­ter.

Af­ter the Qur­bani, Awqaf an­nounced it would em­bark on three up­lift­ment pro­grammes: an­i­mal hus­bandry, a study on the vi­a­bil­ity of har­vest­ing aloes and teacher train­ing.

CHIEF Mandla Man­dela told pupils at the Man­dela School of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy that ed­u­ca­tion had to be a fo­cus of the coun­try’s ne­glected ru­ral ar­eas.

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