Healers say no to muti killings

2016-10-05 06:00

TRADITIONAL healers in the iLembe District held an awareness march last Wednesday, which cut through the streets of the KwaDukuza CBD and culminated in a discussion forum at the town hall.

Organisers said the march was intended to express traditional healers’ collective rejection of muti killings – the killing of people living with albinism in particular – and the subsequent trafficking of human body parts.

“We want the public to know that the body parts of a person living with albinism cannot make muti and we want to send a clear message to traditional healers that they should not use human body parts for making muti,” said one of the organisers Jabulani Mkhize.

KwaDukuza mayor Ricardo Mthembu was part of the discussion forum at the hall where, during his address­, he said the involvement and implication of traditional healers in muti killings make the fraternity lose its dignity.

He said that is what makes such an intervention instigated by traditional healers so important as it would help restore not only the dignity of traditional healers but also that of indigenous cultures and traditions as a whole.

The march was also intended to raise awareness about the dangers of illegal abortions and to also urge traditional healers to refrain from performing this act.

A representative from the Department of Health in the iLembe District said an illegal abortion is the termination of pregnancy by an unqualified and inadequately trained individual in an area or place which does not have the required aides, such as medicines and tools or machinery necessary during such an operation.

She said an illegal abortion is life-threatening as the individual carrying out the termination could use the incorrect dosage since they are not suitably qualified and, or in some instances, use concoctions made of disinfectant fluid and methylated spirits which are an extreme health hazard when consumed by a person.

She said that in some instances such concoctions permanently damage a female’s womb and urged young girls not to opt for an illegal abortion.

“Our teenagers are in great danger that is why we have to talk to them and make them aware that the department of Health has numerous options they can explore in the case of an unwanted pregnancy rather than choosing illegal abortions,” the representative said.

According to a traditional healer who practices in the KwaDukuza CBD Mgcinokwakhe Xulu, a few weeks ago another traditional healer was arrested after he was allegedly caught red handed performing an illegal abortion in a flat in the CBD.

He said the police had been looking for the said traditional healer after an individual opened a case against the healer for swindling the complainant out of R17 000.

According to Xulu, the traditional healer had promised the complainant that this amount would be multiplied, another practice, promises of a similar nature, which was criticised during the discussion and traditional healers were urged to refrain from making false promises.

A call was made that traditional healers should form a knowledge-sharing platform and work with the Department of Health.

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