Bull-killing meeting boycotted

2009-11-24 20:04

Pietermaritzburg - Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini on Tuesday boycotted a meeting called to discuss the controversial issue of bare-handed bull killing.

"We hold a view that if there was to be a meeting to discuss customs and culture, all cultural groups should be invited," said Zwelithini's spokesperson Nhlanhla Mtaka.

The meeting was convened by Pat Mkhize, commissioner for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities, to resolve a dispute over a bull-killing ritual.

He called the meeting after Animal Rights Africa (ARA) went to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday to stop the Ukweshwama ritual, scheduled to take place on December 5 at Zwelithini's palace in Nongoma.

Ukweshwama is a symbolic way of thanking God for the first crops of the season.

Cruel killing

ARA argues that the manner in which bulls are killed during the ritual is cruel.

It has claimed that during the Ukweshwama ritual, men pull out the bull's tongue, stuff sand in its mouth and try to tie its penis in a knot.

The brief court hearing on Tuesday was attended by the Zulu king's representatives, journalists and supporters of the ritual.

The matter was postponed to December 1 to allow Zwelithini and other respondents to file their papers.

Mtaka said that if the commission was interested in discussing issues of culture, it needed to call all cultural groups.

"We see no reason why Zulus should be singled out when there are so many cultural groups in South Africa who have cultural ceremonies," he said.

The Zulu Royal Household said the so-called "mediators" had no purpose.

"What are they going to mediate? In as far as we are concerned the ukweshwama ceremony is going ahead as planned."

'Rights' group arrogant, ignorant'

Mtaka described the Tuesday meeting as a kangaroo court which would not be tolerated by the Zulus.

"We cannot accept the situation whereby the Zulu culture is challenged and is put under unnecessary scrutiny and criticism," he said.
ARA and people who supported its (ARA) court bid were not only arrogant, but also ignorant.

"We believe that this group (ARA) is doing this because it wants to be popular.

"We have also noticed that they are very ignorant. They don't know what this ceremony is all about and how it is conducted."

Mtaka said ARA had been invited several times in the past ten years to attend the ceremony but did not.

Although he was upset by the court challenge, Mtaka was happy that ARA had indirectly promoted the ceremony by putting it in the media.

Out-of-court resolution

Speaking after the meeting on Tuesday, Mkhize said it had gone "okay", but he refused to discuss its resolutions.

"We will issue a statement early tomorrow (Wednesday). The king's decision to boycott the meeting did not affect the outcome of the meeting," he said.

Speaking before the meeting, Mkhize said his commission felt that it was possible the dispute would be settled out of court.

"We have called a meeting of all parties because we believe that this matter can still be resolved out of court," he said.

The other respondents are the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and the province's MEC for local government, housing and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube.

Mkhize said his commission was a Chapter Nine institution and could summon the affected parties to a negotiating table.



Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


ANC set for two-thirds majority - poll

The ANC is on course to win nearly a two-thirds majority in 7 May elections, a poll has showed, confounding analysts who had predicted a fall in support for the ruling party.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.