Settle culture and legalities

IT is that time of the year when boys brave freezing weather and treacherous mountains to be initiated.

IT is that time of the year when boys brave freezing weather and treacherous mountains to be initiated.

The act, normally accompanied by the sacrosanct circumcision ritual, which I underwent, is unfortunately often turned into a money-making orgy characterised by botched operations.

This often results in hospitalisation because of dehydration, diarrhoea and so on.

How do we reconcile the legal parameters and the resultant legislation regulating the practice with maintaining cultural tradition?

Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale, in opening the Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders in June, said that initiation schools must promote the highest standards of cultural education to help society rid itself of crime and social abuse.

It must be noted that maintaining the highest standards of cultural education undermine the legal context within which initiation occurs.

The Limpopo Circumcision Schools Act states that time frames for initiation schools must not run concurrently with academic activities, while age 12 is the minimum age limit.

Exorbitant fees are forbidden at these schools but the Act is against closing the schools because the value, dignity and respect is irrevocably compromised.

I support the secrecy governing ceremonies. Those with mishaps must take initiates elsewhere to complete their education. The reality is that they are closed with contempt and initiates taken to different hospital wards.

Mahlatse Mabelane,Marulaneng Village

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