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Thread: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on animal rights activists

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    Administrator I Robot's Avatar
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    Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on animal rights activists

    Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights (CRL) Commission facilitates talks between King Zwelithini and animal rights group

    25 November 2009

    The Chairman of the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Reverend Wesley Mabuza, is leading the commission in facilitating dialogue between Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and animal rights activists to resolve a dispute over “Ukweshwama” ritual.

    Ukweshwama is a Zulu cultural ritual to symbolically thank God for the first crops of the season. "We have called a meeting of all parties because we believe that this matter should be resolved out of court, through dialogue," said Reverend Mabuza outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg this morning. Animal Rights Africa (ARA) went to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to stop the Ukweshwama ritual which is scheduled to take place on 5 December at King Zwelithini's Palace in KwaNongoma.

    The court postponed the matter to 1 December to allow King Zwelithini and other respondents to file their papers. The CRL Commission is a statutory body (Chapter 9 institution) established in terms of the South African Constitution, and has the powers to summon affected parties in a dispute of a cultural, religious or linguistic nature to a negotiating table in search of an amicable resolution. The commission falls under the portfolio of Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, who is also responsible for Traditional Affairs in the country.

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    Last edited by Dave A; 27-Nov-09 at 05:26 AM.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I'm quite relieved to see this. When I saw there was a court application on the issue, I wondered how much dialogue there might have been on the issue first.

    Issues of culture and cultural heritage need to be dealt with some sensitivity. Folks shouldn't just be wandering off to court to bludgeon their belief system over others at the expense of their target's cultural beliefs and practices.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Sorry but NO! Again it is about priority and these are the facts.

    A...> Why only take action when high profiled people are involved?
    B...> Why is there NO action against domestic animal abuse?

    If I may; in 2008 last year I personally reported that “someone” owned six large dogs. These dogs where in an appalling state! So much so that the dogs started to attack one another actually killing each other over food.

    When the investigation started only in 2009 there were only 1 “big dog” left and it was attacking everyone that walk past the doggy gates and in the end it was taken... Only because it attack and ate a smaller dog on someone’s property.

    Still what about the 5 other dogs. Simple no action was taken. None! So to the investigator’s mind these animals never existed and there suffering is nothing more than hearsay.

    Now to me “Animal Rights Africa” is powerless and to my mind none existent. The only reason why Animal Rights Africa is taking part in this endeavour is for publicity and to gain notoriety...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    The only reason why Animal Rights Africa is taking part in this endeavour is for publicity and to gain notoriety...
    Well, they're succeeding, although it might not be the kind of notoriety they were looking for. This is being seen as an assault on Zulu culture in this neck of the woods.

    Seriously, if they really felt the need to tackle the issue, the right way to do it is make an approach to King Zwelithini. He is no fool and if times have changed, he has the capacity to effect change on this issue in short order. Everyone wins and there's no egg on anyone's face.

    But instead of given the proper respect to the culture of another, this righteous crowd see fit to try to impose their (and please try to consider the context here) Western view of standards in "arrogant Western" manner.

    They claim the practice is barbaric and inhumane. Perhaps the counter-claim is they're rude, insensitive and inconsiderate.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Some interesting observations from the judge hearing the matter.
    If tradition was in conflict with the laws of the country, Parliament should decide on the matter.

    "If the facts are true on how the bull is killed, then it is horrendous. However, you have to look at the ritual in an open context," he said.

    Surely Parliament and President Jacob Zuma, who was a Zulu, were aware of the tradition, said Judge Van der Reyden, adding that one judge in one court could not tell the entire Zulu nation what to do.
    full story from IOL here
    The question arises - is the judge forced to blindly follow the law's lead - or allow latitude for it to be amended where it seems socially responsible to do so?

    Judgement is due on Friday. Who would want to be in the judge's seat on this one
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Well the judge comments in todays daily news - "I am damned no matter what I decide" correctly so, either which way tehre are going to be a whole lot of upset people. Of course if he decides not to allow it and it goes on, what will they do? Arresst the King? That should be fun to watch.
    I think that it is difficult for people to comprehend otehrs cultures because of lack of tolerance. Many whites probably think it is barbaric but by the same token many Zulu people probably think eating sushi is barbaric. The actual slaughter is not the issue but the manner. However the very nature of the tradition requires the bull to be killed by bare hand by virtue of the fact that it is a tradition related to strength and of the gods.
    Although, cruelty in any form is to be admonished, one must ask is this so reprehensible to soceity and in the greater interest of soceity to ban it? Those that are opposed, correctly so, to the cruelty must also see that for 5 million people this ritual is to do with crops. Imagine the consequence if banned and the crops are a failure. To many Westerners this would be due to global warming but to those who support this practice it would be seen as an act of the gods and have catastrophic consequences. As the judge says some one will be the loser, in this case a bull that will suffer, without doubt, but so will those people who believe in this practice suffer if they are not allowed to observe the culture and tradition. Some tolerance and understanding for other cultures is called for and although I do not agree with the practice I understand the need to continue it and hope the judge finds accordingly - which I believe he will.

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    Gold Member twinscythe12332's Avatar
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    This is important to them. 1 cow vs tens of millions of people. If we're anything of the democracy we're supposed to be, the outcome is already clear.

    It's going to be interesting. Even if the bull is killed and the crops go bad, it will be claimed by the sangomas that it isn't the ritual's fault. it will be the fault of those who stuck their nose into it and cursed the ritual.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinscythe12332 View Post
    This is important to them. 1 cow vs tens of millions of people. If we're anything of the democracy we're supposed to be, the outcome is already clear.

    It's going to be interesting. Even if the bull is killed and the crops go bad, it will be claimed by the sangomas that it isn't the ritual's fault. it will be the fault of those who stuck their nose into it and cursed the ritual.
    Absolutely. Interesting the affidavits presented by experts on the ritual point out that there is NO blood letting as this would actually be against the run of play. Furthermore, and this is interesting, the expert says that the people commenting are all going on hearsay. NO outsiders may attend the ritual, hence they have no idea of what actually happens.

    The originality interesting enough, comes from when the kings power was waning and so he would be killed and replaced by the new king and a transfer of power. The bull has now replaced the king, which is probably a good thing.

    The Mercury is covering this event very well and provides some interesting feedback. I have no doubt that the ritual will continue.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sterne.law@gmail.com View Post
    I have no doubt that the ritual will continue.
    I agree it seems unlikely a judge is going to get in the way - at least not at this level. However, the judgement is going to have to be well reasoned if it's not to open the door to some other potential funny legal stunts...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Simply done in the end...
    Zulus will be able to restore their king's power with the bare-handed killing of a bull on Saturday after a court ruling dismissing an application to stop the ritual.

    Judge Nic van der Reyden on Friday dismissed the application by Animal Rights Africa (ARA) in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

    He said he was satisfied with the evidence of a cultural expert, Professor Jabulani Mapalala, that the ARA's objection to the ritual was based on untrue information and hearsay.
    full story from IOL here
    Hearsay evidence vs expert witness - no contest
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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