No room for sex pests at reed dance

2010-09-04 12:00

Durban - Nobody will be allowed to take "inappropriate" pictures at KwaZulu-Natal's annual reed dance, the provincial arts and culture department said on Friday.

“We will only accredit media representatives and require them to produce proof that they belong to that particular organisation. It will not just be anyone who is allowed to take pictures,” arts and culture MEC Weziwe Thusi’s spokesperson Vukani Mbhele said in a statement.

Thousands of young women participate in the annual reed dance festival, introduced by King Shaka decades ago to promote respect for women and virginity.

The festival will be held at Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's palace at eNyokeni, in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, next weekend.

“Security will be moving around. They will arrest anyone suspected of taking indecent pictures and the pictures will be destroyed.”

Mbhele said for years the department had ensured that the women, who are topless, were safe.

“We are taking no chances at the reed dance, we have very sharp security,” Mbhele said.

On Tuesday the department said about 26 000 young women were to attend this year’s dance. A disaster management plan had been drawn up.

The department has been allocated a R4m budget for the event.

The king had indicated he would like his five wives to be more involved in the dance, and to work with the maidens' leaders this year. Each wife had been allocated a different district for which she would serve as ambassador.