Article distorts koma practice

SOWETAN'S article on July 15 headed "Initiates run amok" is mischievous and seeks to divide Thakgalang's people.

The so-called ground rules which you say have made life a living hell for villagers are not new. They have existed from time immemorial and are not meant to inhibit people from going about their daily lives. They are meant to ensure that while initiations take place, people respect its solemnity.

The observance of solitude and reflection is done willingly as part of a long-standing cultural and traditional practice.

People, including churches and other forums, are informed of a pending initiation and are requested to treat the period with decorum and respect. The "rules" exist through the collective understanding of the community .

The Thakgalang tribal authority knows better than to flout people's constitutional rights to enjoyment and would not compel anyone to forsake it .

As for the assertions that people are assaulted or fined for not observing the quiet period, nothing is further from the truth. Your article failed to provide evidence of anyone who has been assaulted because no such assaults took place.

The sensational article fails to commend the koma's high standards. Initiates have never died or been maimed. Your photos are also not of our koma.

It would be good for progress if influential publications recognise excellence of traditional practices and give due where it is necessary.

Kgoshi Mahudu Pheeha,Thakgalang