COGTA MEC Xolile Nqatha has revealed that all traditional initiation monitoring teams have been put on high alert to respond rapidly on illegal initiation schools in the Province. This is to enforce the decision of the Executive Council to suspend ulwaluko during the winter season in line with Covid 19 regulations.
MEC Nqatha commended the good work done by the police and members of the District Initiation forums in closing down illegal traditional initiation schools.
He said the opening and operating of initiation schools during the national lockdown is illegal and in contravention of the regulations of the Disaster Managemnt on Covid 19.
The MEC said the winter traditional initiation season has been suspended throughout South Africa to save the country and its people from the deadly virus.
“So far there are 16 cases that have been opened and 10 people arrested for unlawful circumcision and contravention of the regulations. Twenty four illegal amabhuma have been closed down. We also thank members of the various communities for alerting us to these illegal operations,” said MEC Nqatha.
He also thanked the monitoring teams, traditional leaders and members of various communities for their active participation to enforce the suspension of ulwaluko in line with the provisions of the lockdown regulations.
“We encourage them to do more to save lives by spreading messages to combat Covid 19,” said MEC Nqatha.
The affected areas include Ngqeleni, KSD, Port St Johns, Tsolo, Mdantsane, Scenery Park, Nxarhuni and Indwe.
Chairperson of the EC House of traditional leaders Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana urged traditional leaders to be vigilant at all times and guard against the opening of amabhuma in their areas.
“We call on parents and families to observe the lockdown regulations by not sending their kids to the bush. Equally, parents must open criminal cases against those people who circumcise their boys without their consent,” said Nkosi Nonkonyana.
Councillor Rami Xonxa, who is the chairperson of Makana’s local initiation forum, said cancelling the winter initiation season soon after the national lockdown was announced was the correct decision.
“I fully support it because it is for the safety of the initiates against Covid-19,” Xonxa said. “Better safe than sorry.”