God has chosen Zulu nation to destroy ‘devilish Aids’, says king

2013-05-17 00:00

KING Goodwill Zwelithini says God has chosen the Zulu nation to destroy the “devil” called “Aids”.

The king was speaking yesterday at Northdale Hospital where he unveiled the KwaZulu-Natal Medical Male Circumcision Centre of Excellence, worth millions of rands.

“Why don’t you kill this devilish spirit of Aids?” Zwelithini asked hundreds of people in attendance, who included Premier Zweli Mkhize, Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and his department head, Dr Sibongile Zungu.

The king said the Zulus had fought many wars and defeated the English at the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879; therefore they could overcome the disease.

In 2009, the monarch asked the KZN government to start a programme to promote medical male circumcision. The Health Department launched the programme the following year.

The centre in Northdale has a waiting room, medical officers’ rooms, a resuscitation room and a theatre with enough beds for 14 patients at a time.

“This is a dream come true,” Zwelithini said.

Since the inception of the circumcision programme in 2010, about 300 000 men have been circumcised in KZN, and the king said he was delighted that no one was reported to have died due to the procedure in the province, unlike in the Eastern Cape.

Zwelithini also spoke against prostitution, drugs and people who deliberately spread HIV.

“If you go around spreading the disease, you won’t see God’s face because you’re a killer,” he declared.

Both Mkhize and Dhlomo defended the controversial Tara Klamp device used in clinical circumcisions.

Dhlomo said he was reported to the Public Protector for authorising the use of the plastic device, but advocate Thuli Madonsela had found no fault in the department.

Mkhize said he also supported use of the device.

Several research studies had shown that circumcision reduces men’s chances of acquiring HIV by 60%, the Health Department said.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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