Man killed in circumcision row
A feud over traditional circumcision method of two ethnic groups in Pondoland — AmaZawa and AmaXhosa — resulted in the death of a young man at the weekend.
Police spokesman Captain Mduduza Godlwana said 21-year-old Lulamile Cenga of the Xhosa ethnicity group was allegedly killed during a traditional graduation. The incident happened at Bhele village in Bizana at about 4pm on Saturday.
It is alleged the two groups had poked fun at one another over circumcision methods used and one group chased the other. It is further alleged that the deceased was trapped by a wire fence and could not escape.
He was then beaten with knobkieries and stabbed with a spear.
Eight men were held for questioning on Sunday, however only two stand accused.
The ethnicity killing over method of traditional circumcision had caused an outcry among traditional leaders who are faced with a crisis of initiation deaths in the Eastern Cape, especially in the Pondoland.
Godlwana said it was not the first time that the two groups, despite staying in the same village, had fought over traditional circumcision. There was a similar killing last year.
Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders chairman Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima was shocked to learn about the incident.
“I think people must respect each other’s cultural practices. This is not supposed to have happened if people knew exactly the essence of circumcision and initiation,” said Matanzima.
He said last year during a meeting with traditional leaders, traditional circumcision practitioners and the church leaders in Bizana, the question of different methods of circumcision was raised.
“They said AmaMpondo as a nation in Bizana they still to come together and decided on what type of initiation ritual they would all embraced as apparently they were practising various methods,” he said.
Matanzima hopes that traditional leader in Bizana would come up with a solution to the matter.