MEC’s excuse for not intervening in initiation deaths is nonsense – Angie Motshekga

2013-05-27 14:36

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ANC Women’s League president Angie Motshekga has dismissed as “nonsense” the gender excuse used by a female MEC in Mpumalanga for not intervening in the deaths of initiates in that province.

Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg this morning on the league’s weekend national executive committee meeting, Motshekga said Mpumalanga Health MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini had a duty to intervene in the deaths of the young men.

She said leaders should put the Constitution first and cultural practices second. Mashego-Dlamini “has the responsibility to protect lives”, Motshekga said. “The Constitution should supersede culture.”

More than 30 initiates have died in initiation schools in that province, with Mashego-Dlamini saying she could not intervene because culture would not allow a woman to do so.

She said it was up to the traditional authorities to address the problem.

President Jacob Zuma last week condemned the deaths.

City Press reported yesterday that a doctor said he was afraid there could be more deaths because the health department was not in control of initiation schools.

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