Rights commission slams traditional healers who keep kids against their will

2016-07-06 17:15

Johannesburg - There might be more cases of traditional healers who keep underage children for traditional healing training (ukuthwasa) than was previously thought, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) said on Wednesday.

"The CRL Rights Commission has learnt with shock and repugnance about the practices of certain traditional healers who keep underage children for ukuthwasa (traditional healing training)," its spokesperson Mpiyakhe Mkholo said in a statement. 

Mkholo said the commission was warning all traditional healers who were keeping underage children that their actions were unconstitutional and violated the Bill of Rights.

This comes after a woman appeared in the Ubombo Magistrate's Court for allegedly trying to sell a child to a traditional healer for R100 000 on Tuesday.

The matter came to light when Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit members were in Manguzi, looking for a missing child.

Police said the woman and the traditional healer were allegedly making arrangements for the transaction when the matter was uncovered. 

"As a Commission, we categorically state that no child should ever be subjected to any social, cultural or religious practices which are detrimental to his or her well-being. Sadly, it appears that there might be more of these cases around the country," he said.

Mkholo appealed to community members to immediately report cases of children being kept by traditional leaders for ukuthwasa

Its chairperson, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, commended the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society and Ubuhle Bengcugce Community Council members for the work they did in rescuing a child in Soweto who had become a victim of the "unconstitutional" practice.

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