AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini says illegal initiation schools pose a big threat to the cultural practice of circumcision in the country. He has called on communities to take a stand against illegal initiation schools.

At least 27 young men died in various initiation schools in the Eastern Cape – some of which were illegal schools.

King Zwelithini was addressing hundreds of community members as he welcomed over 200 young men returning from six initiation schools in Kokstad, southern KwaZulu-Natal.

He says if communities and officials fail to act against illegal initiation schools, many young men will avoid initiation.

The king says this will prolong the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“People should not keep quiet when their children are dying. The world is watching us South Africa. They will mock our cultural practice of initiation if our young men continue to die like this. These young men are not chickens, they are humans. Why do people keep quiet when such things happen,” he questioned.

26-year-old Vuyolwethu Ndubani spent his festive holiday season undergoing initiation. He described the process as life-changing.

He says although it was difficult at times, it was necessary.

Ndubani says this practice can play a pivotal role in addressing the scourge of gender-based violence. -Reporting by Bongani Gema

 

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