Initiates to miss soccer World Cup

THERE will be no radio or TV sets for abakhwetha (initiates) while they are in the mountains for their circumcision ritual during the soccer World Cup next month.

This was said by Inkosi Nkosinathi Jezile of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) in Eastern Cape.

He was reacting to reports that some people intended providing radios or TV sets so that the abakhwetha can watch World Cup action next month.

"We will not allow such a thing to happen," Jezile said. " This is an old tradition that should be respected and maintained to a particular standard at all times and the mountain is a sacred place.

"Not even a radio is allowed, let alone a TV."

Eastern House of Traditional Leadership spokesperson Brains Ncamashe said it was taboo for any means of communication to be taken to a sacred ritual, whether it is "electronic, written" or otherwise.

"If there's an intention to do that it would be tantamount to contamination of the fundamental cornerstone that defines the very essence of the ritual," Ncamashe said.

"It's a serious transgression. If boys decide to go for circumcision, they must keep concentrating on what they have decided to do or postpone it. It's part of the discipline."

He said initiates must be prepared to endure high levels of discipline.

"One has to have the ability to restrain oneself from anything that is contrary to the ritual," he said.

Nyaniso Mfihlo, a former initiate, condemned the proposed provision of radios to initiates.

"It's ridiculous of some people to even think of doing that," he said. "When we went to the mountain we had no radios or televisions.

"We never even went near homesteads with radios because we held the culture in so much esteem.

"So, for some people to even think of doing that (providing radios) is a disgrace, which should be criticised by all the people who respect their culture. and want it to be maintained."