Traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape must find solution to initiates’ deaths, premier Noxolo Kievit said on Friday (01/03/2013).
"One issue we urge you to discuss with vigour and find lasting solutions on, is the death of initiates in our province,” she said.
She was speaking at the opening of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders.
"When we should all be celebrating the practice of our old age custom, we find ourselves every season having to deal with a dark cloud of deaths that is claiming [the] lives of our young people.” She said parents who sent their children to initiation schools lived in fear, because they did not have the slightest clue whether their children would come back alive from the mountain.
"We commend the growing levels of co-operation to confront this scourge, which threatens the identity of the people of this province.” The government had decided that communities must be prepared for effective management of the period of ulwaluko (an integral part of the Xhosa culture which signifies the transition from boyhood to manhood).
She also called on traditional leaders to help in the fight against moral decay.
"We must stop breeding rapists, as well as women and child-abusers, and also we must close ranks to leave no place for these culprits to hide within our communities.” - Sapa