Last week, cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) deputy minister, Oben Bapela, announced that the initiation season would be suspended again this December. The Rep reporter, Ntsikelelo Qoyo, went to ask people in Komani what they thought about the moratorium.
Nomathamsanqa Nqati from Chewu
I do not understand how the government has the authority to intervene in our traditions and customs. In our culture initiates are kept in ones and twos, not like the Sothos. I think he must not impose his will on the rest of us because these customs are how we live as black people.
Herman Marais from Top Town
If it is meant to save lives then they should do it. I am sure they have considered a lot of things. They just need to stand by it.
Morris Tyutu from Chewu
I agree that it should be suspended because our children’s lives matter. We do not know whether those who will be commissioned to take care of them will not end up infecting them. The caregiver does not stay there all the time. He might not have been infected when the rite started, but he does not stay there and as result may end up bringing the sickness to the initiates, thereby endangering him.
Andile Ntsale from Lady Frere
I agree with the government it should remain suspended. An initiate is a very weak person. They will end up going to the hospital complaining of ‘headaches’. A person who wants to continue with the rite must just take their child to the hospital now. All the symptoms he ends up having are the same as the ones you have when you have Covid-19, then what will happen?
David Bantam from Sabatha
I think it should be approached with caution taking into account the recent resurgence of Covid-19. It is a high-risk environment and I think precautions will have to be taken.