By Neelam Rahim
The Sunday Tribune reported that the municipality intended to impose a slaughtering permit for traditional ceremonies during a now-deleted post.
City spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the reason on municipal platforms about processes to follow when slaughtering for ritual and spiritual purposes was prompted by numerous enquiries received by the eThekwini Health Unit as a result of the upcoming Eid-al-Adha celebrations. He said the municipality recognizes and respects communities’ traditional, cultural and non-secular beliefs and doesn’t prohibit activities aligned to such beliefs.
“However, the municipality is required to present effect to national legislation and regulations to make sure the humane slaughter of animals, to safeguard public health and also the health of these who consume the meat, to stop health-related issues and to confirm that such practices are done in the interests of harmony and respect for other peoples’ rights within communities,” Mayisela said.
The City said the beef Regulations, 2004, Section 128(2)(a), which refers to spiritual purposes of the Muslim faith, and 129(1)(a), which refers to indigenous religious or cultural purpose, states that an individual must “obtain written permission from the agency of the area where such a slaughtering will happen.” The new ritual slaughtering permitted by law has received heavy criticism
After the by-law was heavily criticized, the municipality decided to write a poster explaining it.
The ANC Youth League within the eThikhwini region was the primary to slam the by-law.
Regional secretary Thulisa Ndlela said the youth league rejected the culturally insensitive because it requires people to seek permission to practise their constitutionally protected cultural rights.
“We will engage the leadership of ANC within the region to instruct to instruct the caucus of the ANC within the council for the choice to not be approved and if approved to be reviewed with the intention of reversing. African people cannot be made to hunt permission within the same way that they accustomed under the apartheid regime,” said Ndlela.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) eThekwini chairman Mdu Nkosi said this is not a by-law that can work in eThekwini as there are areas still under traditional leadership.
“As the IFP, we won’t support this law,” said Nkosi.