Knowledge needs guarding

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Rejoice Mabudafhasi yesterday called on traditional healers to discourage ritual murders.

She made the call during the launch of the Vhembe Traditional Health Practitioners Association in Thohoyandou, where cases of ritual murder have assumed alarming proportions.

Mabudafhasi said she was worried that ritual killings were motivated by traditional healers who promised business success if human flesh was available in their practices.

She also encouraged the use of indigenous knowledge, especially relating to traditional healing.

"Multinational companies and institutions could glean traditional medicinal knowledge, patent it and use it commercially without either acknowledging the sources or compensating them," said Mabudafhasi.

She said communities needed to be educated in intellectual property rights.