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Last modified: 05 Jun 2017
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Local Initiation Forum to be established

30 May 2017
Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders Mzwethemba Nkantsu (front centre) holds hands with traditional surgeon and Chairperson of Buyambo, a committee of traditional surgeons and nurses, Xolile Kato (front left) and Kouga Public Participation Officer Fumanekile Lloyd. With them are Monde Fulani (back left) of the Department of Health and traditional surgeon Mike Brown.

Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders Mzwethemba Nkantsu (front centre) holds hands with traditional surgeon and Chairperson of Buyambo, a committee of traditional surgeons and nurses, Xolile Kato (front left) and Kouga Public Participation Officer Fumanekile Lloyd. With them are Monde Fulani (back left) of the Department of Health and traditional surgeon Mike Brown.

Traditional surgeons and nurses, together with Kouga Municipality, the Department of Health and non-government organisations got together in Humansdorp last week to assess local readiness for the male initiation season.

The session, on Friday, was facilitated by the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders (ECHOTL), which also presented the new legislation governing the custom.

Chief Executive Officer of the ECHOTL, Mzwethemba Nkantsu, presented the Eastern Cape Customary Male Initiation Practice Act No 5 of 2016, which was signed into law by Premier Phumulo Masualle in December.

“The objective of the act is to regulate the practice. The aim is to protect lives, to protect initiates from all forms of abuse, to ensure that there is accountable leadership of the process and to protect the customary practice of male initiation,” he said.

Nkantsu said the new act required that a Local Initiation Forum be established, with the office of the municipal Speaker coordinating the relevant stakeholders.

Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks thanked the ECHOTL for the initiative and encouraged all stakeholders to hold hands in striving for a successful season.

“The custom forms a central part of some of our communities and, therefore, deserves to be treated with respect by all involved. It is our desire as Kouga that our children are brought back safely and that we do not hear any of the unfortunate stories that we sometimes read about,” he said.

Chairperson of Buyambo, a committee of traditional surgeons and nurses in Kouga, Xolile Kato, said they were ready for the upcoming initiation season and lauded their members for sticking to a strict peer review programme.

“We hold a proud history that we have never experienced any loss of life of initiates in Kouga. We are looking forward to learning more about the new legislative framework and to be part of the new forum,” said Kato.