Rebecca Davis, When culture and policing collide. Circumcision deaths and ukuthwala -unpunished crimes

The area of what is described as cultural practices has now become a site where there are extensive abuses that are not curbed by police action, even where there is a constitutional duty to do so. The way in which these practises are defended has been to set up a framework where the perpetrators and their defenders are the sole interpreters of what constitutes African culture. Even in cases where practices where previously subject to extensive debate, attempts are now being made to shut these down. This article gives some indication of how this happens with ukuthwala (abduction with some variations) and elements of the initiation process.

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