Maiden (12) laid to rest

2019-03-20 06:01

A GIRL who drowned during a virginity testing ceremony in uMshwathi area was laid to rest on Saturday, March 16.

Yolanda Ngcobo (12) and other maidens had gathered at the Mpolweni area to participate in a virginity testing ceremony. Yolanda and the other maidens had gone to bath into the river on Sunday morning when she got into difficulty and drowned in the river.

Yolanda came from the KwaSwayimane area in Pietermaritzburg to participate in the ceremony. She was a pupil from Kwenzakwethu Primary. Her body was recovered on Tuesday morning.

The ceremony was called off while search operations were underway.

Cultural expert Nomagugu Ngobese, who is in the forefront of virginity testing in maidens, advised elders to escort maidens when they are going to bath in the river during the ceremony.

“Maidens must not go to the river without the supervision of the elders. We heard that the river was overflowing when the incident happened.

“I would like to send my condolences to the Ngcobo family. As women leading maidens we are shocked about the incident,” Ngobese said.

Deputy mayor of uMshwathi Municipality Mlungisi Dlamini sent condolences to the Ngcobo family on behalf of the municipality.

uMshwathi Municipality spokesperson Sbusiso Mkhithi said: “First lady from the Royal Palace, MaNdlovu, visited the family to send her condolences to the family.

“Ward councillor from eMpolweni Cebisile­ Zuma also sent her condolences to the family, relatives, maidens, women and to the Swayimane residents. She also thanked Mpolweni residents who have been working hard to locate the body of the girl.”

According to the report from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the search operations had to be called off when crocodiles were spotted in water.

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