Traditional leaders say no to sanitisers at circumcisions

Mkhuseli Sizani

Eastern Cape traditional leaders are banning the use of sanitisers at initiation schools.

Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, provincial chairperson of Contralesa in the Eastern Cape, is appealing to iingcibi, amakhankatha and parents to not use sanitisers at initiation schools.

He says they could pose danger to initiates, as they are flammable and initiates use open fires. 

Nonkonyana spoke to Scrolla.Africa on Friday morning after President Cyril Ramaphosa had given the go-ahead for the summer circumcision season in some parts of the province – under strict Covid-19 regulations.

“We are very happy with the announcement and we should play our role in making sure that both circumcision and Covid-19 regulations are adhered to,” he said.

He welcomes social distancing, and agrees that “both ingcibi and amakhankatha should be tested for Covid-19”. 

But he draws the line at sanitisers.  

“The sanitisers are not allowed because it contains alcohol which is flammable. Initiates use open fires and the grass huts can easily catch fire,” Nonkonyana said. 

Chief Velile Mfunda chairperson of Cacadu District Traditional Leaders added that: “Sanitisers cause itching when you have a cut in your hand. Therefore we appeal to ingcibi and amakhankatha to not use them at initiation schools as they may harm the healing process of the initiate. 

“They must wash their hands with soap and water, wear the masks and conform to social distancing regulations.”