20°C / 22°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 3°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 13°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 11°C
  • 1°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 20°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 27°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 16°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 9°C
  • -1°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • -2°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 1°C
  • Sat
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 29°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Sun
  • 25°C
  • 15°C

Calls for counselling for Reed Dance festival crash survivors

The girls were going to cut reeds ahead of the festival where the King usually selects a new wife.

FILE: The Reed Dance ceremony is an annual Swazi cultural event where tens of thousands of Swazi girls travel from the various chiefdoms to the Ludzidzini Royal Village to participate in the eight-day event. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Swaziland Solidarity Network has called for urgent counselling for the survivors of a fatal crash en route to the annual reed dance festival.

Swaziland officials claim 13 girls died in Friday's collision.

However the network has accused government of downplaying the death toll, which it maintains stands at 65.

The group was traveling to King Mswati III's palace when the open truck they were being transported in collided with a car before being struck from behind by another truck.

The girls were going to cut reeds ahead of the festival, where the King usually selects a new wife.

The network's Lucky Lukhele says the girls should have received immediate counselling instead of participating in the festival.

"Release most of the girls, especially those who survived and witnessed the death of their friends, to be taken in for medical counselling so as to get them to accept and understand what happened."

LISTEN: Swaziland Solidarity Network calls for Reed Dance to be scrapped.

The Umhlanga Reed Dance has in the past involved bare-breasted young Swazi women dancing and singing in beaded mini-skirts to catch the eye of Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch.

The festival is meant to celebrate womanhood and virginity.

Thousands of young women descend on the royal residence from all over the nation every year, but in a country where relatively few families own vehicles and where infrastructure is poor, many are squeezed onto open trucks.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus