- Traditional leaders have been urging the government to reopen initiation schools since they were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Contralesa president Kgosi Mathupa Mokoena has said that if they are allowed to reopen, they will cooperate with the government and follow health protocols
- According to the traditional leaders, initiation schools reopening is about their culture and not about making money
Traditional leaders have been pushing for the reopening of initiation schools in South Africa. Initiation schools were closed in winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the initiation season coming closer, traditional leaders have said that the government needs to reconsider its decision to close the cultural practice.
Contralesa President, Kgosi Mathupa Mokoena says: "Those who are going to be allowed, let them cooperate with government in terms of social distancing, masks and so on."
Mokoena says that if they have less initiates it is okay because this is about culture and not about making money.
The traditional leaders met with Minister of Police Bheki Cele in Johannesburg on Friday to discuss their request for initiation schools to be reopened. Cele has said that the government will be able to deal with illegal initiation schools.
"We’ll have to pounce and we’ll have to arrest whoever is doing anything that is out of the law. Anyone who breaks that law, especially that leads to the death and the loss of human life, police will have to act on that,” he said.
Cele also urged the traditional leaders to fight against femicide and gender-based violence.
In other news, Briefly.co.za previously reported that initiation schools in Mzansi will be allowed to reopen from December. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has established that the custom of male initiation will be allowed starting December, but only under strict conditions. The traditional ritual usually takes place in summer or winter. In many cultures in Mzansi, initiation is the process where a boy becomes a man and earns his rite of passage to manhood.
Initiation schools were suspended in March 2020 as the country went into lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
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