Cele appeals to traditional leaders to allow law to deal with rapists

The minister met with traditional leaders on Friday from all parts of the country at Emperors Palace.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday pleaded with traditional leaders not to deal with rapists culturally, but to allow the criminal justice system to take its course.

Cele met with traditional leaders from all parts of the country at Emperors Palace.

Stock theft, rape, and alcohol abuse were at the top of the agenda.

ALSO READ: Alcohol abuse biggest driver of crime in SA, says Cele

The minister did not hold back when he told traditional healers about their inaction when dealing with perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV).

He said traditional cleansing did not stop crime.

“There is no imbuzi (a goat) here that is going to clean rape. We want to make a call to say, imbuzi or no imbuzi, the uncle stops being an uncle and becomes a criminal and must be treated as such.”

But Nkosi SG Ngomane said the cleansing was vital.

“But we are saying also the reason why we have so much horrible crime happening in South Africa is because we have lost the way, in which we communicate with our ancestors and God. We are saying we have to do all the necessary traditional ceremonies to prevent horrible crimes from happening in our homesteads,” he said.

Traditional healers were also told not to fine abusers through cattle or money, but to report them at the local police station.

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