Deputy President David Mabuza says traditional leaders must encourage male circumcision to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The traditional leaders, as the custodians of culture, have much influence on the circumcision and initiation schools.

Mabuza was speaking during a meeting with the traditional leaders in Malamulele, Limpopo, ahead of the World Aids Day commemoration on Wednesday.

Mabuza, who chairs the South African National AIDS Council, has called on the traditional leaders to take the lead in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was engaging with traditional leaders and healers at Malamulele community hall on Tuesday.

“When there was an outbreak of COVID-19, we slumbered in our fight against HIV/AIDS. We abandoned all the programs to fight with HIV, now we see the virus resurging. We urge all men to go to circumcision to help fight the spread.”

The chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, Kgoshi Malesela Dikgale, says that police must arrest perpetrators who sexually abuse minors with the perception that it cures HIV/AIDS.

“A person who sleeps with a 15-year old girl, we must never allow that as the community. That person must be arrested and go straight to jail.”

Deputy Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council in Limpopo, Solanga Milambo says traditional healers must also play a role in disseminating information on HIV/AIDS.

“Traditional healers need to play a role in ensuring that people receive information about HIV/AIDS, during campaigns they are the ones at the forefront. They sometimes refer patience showing symptoms of HIV to the clinic.”

The country commemorates World Aids Day on Wednesday. The infection rate is said to be on the increase in the country.