YCL wants details of circumcision drive

2010-01-20 14:20

King Goodwill Zwelithini needs to clarify whether the KwaZulu-Natal

government’s male circumcision drive will be part of an initiation-like process,

the Young Communist Party (YCL) said today.

“A sense of confusion has been engulfing people of KwaZulu-Natal

since the king announced to reintroduce the practice of circumcision last year,”

the league said in a statement.

It was confused about whether the circumcisions would be part of a

traditional initiation, similar to that practised by Xhosas in the Eastern Cape,

or would simply be a government-sponsored procedure.

The YCL said it supported any programme aimed at preventing the

spread of HIV, but stressed that clarity on how the circumcisions would be

performed was crucial.

The king’s spokesman was not immediately available to

comment.

The Zulu king announced last year he would revive the circumcision

custom to help prevent the spread of HIV. The KwaZulu-Natal government threw its

weight behind the idea. Yesterday Premier Zweli Mkhize announced it would start

a massive male circumcision programme before the end of this year.

 Speaking

during a workshop in Pietermaritzburg, Mkhize said the government would pay for

everything. Government health officials would carry out the procedures. Nobody

would be allowed to circumcise people without training. The government would pay

for the halls and tents where circumcisions would take place, mainly during

winter school holidays.

Mkhize said a number of studies had shown that while male

circumcision did not provide complete protection against HIV infection, it

lowered the risk of heterosexual HIV transmission.

King Shaka Zulu stopped the custom more than 200 years ago because

he felt too many men were unable to fight his wars because they had septic

wounds from circumcision.

 

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