Ramaphosa condemns the killing of traditional leaders

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned in the strongest terms the rise in the killings of traditional leaders, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

Ramaphosa said this as the killings of traditional leaders have recently shot up.

He was delivering the keynote address at the annual official opening of the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders (NHTKL) at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chamber in Cape Town on Thursday. 

“Our law enforcement agencies are hard at work to ensure that those responsible are brought to book. On behalf of the government, I wish to pass our deepest condolences to all families for the loss of their loved ones and to you for the loss of your colleagues. 

“May their souls and those of other traditional leaders who have passed on since the last opening of the House continue to rest in peace,” said Ramaphosa.

An attack on the state 

Last year, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube condemned the killings, calling them an attack on the state as they threaten to destabilise an institution critical to the stability and order of society.

In a meeting with the South African Police Service in January 2022, it emerged that the police were investigating 51 murder cases dating back to 2012, and at the time, 30 people had been arrested, while 18 cases were still pending in court. 

“As government, we remain committed to working with the institution of traditional leadership in pursuit of progress and development. We did so extremely successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic, during recent floods, and in a number of other areas.”

Combating GBV

He said they were working together to combat gender-based violence, a scourge that is tearing communities apart.

“I have just returned from the annual Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, where we participated in a high-level event on promoting positive masculinity across our continent.

“We need to be doing more in our communities to bring men into this effort, and focus on prevention and awareness raising,” the President said. 

Personally, he said he has been engaging with young men through peer dialogues where they are able to not only speak openly about what masculinity and manhood means to them, but also commit themselves to playing their part to end gender-based violence.

The President called on male traditional leaders to be part of this effort and to start their own men’s dialogues. 

“The influence and stature you bring to bear can and does make a difference, given the role that cultural norms and practices often play in perpetuating violence against women and girls,” he said. 

President Ramaphosa pointed out that drug abuse is another serious challenge in communities.

He said it was encouraging to note that the House was supporting the work of the Central Drug Authority. “I urge you as this House to encourage provinces and local Houses to establish relationships with community organisations to fight the scourge of drugs together,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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