World Cup stadium ‘cow sacrifice’ preparation sparks row

By: Staff | December 1, 2009 | | One Comments (Dec. 01, 2009) — An offer to sanctify South Africa’s World Cup stadiums by slaughtering a cow in every one of the stadiums has caused alarm and distress amongst animal rights activists.

fifa logoThe Makhonya Royal Trust, which put forward the suggestion, described the cattle killing ceremony as a “true African” means of blessing the 2010 tournament.

Government minister Sicelo Shiceka has promised to lobby football’s leading body, Fifa, in support of the plan. However animal rights groups have demanded to be consulted over the plans. The National Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) has in black and white written to Fifa over the issue.

The BBC’s Mohammed Allie in Cape Town says the NSPCA does not object to the sacrament slaughter of animals. New stadiums have been built for the enthusiastically expected World Cup. But the group wants to make sure it is done in a humanitarian manner and wants to be concerned in the procedure to make sure the wellbeing of the cattle, our correspondent adds.

The Makhonya Royal Trust, which co-ordinates African cultural activities, said the sacrifice was an imperative manner of ensuring a triumphant World Cup. “We must have a cultural ritual of some sort, where we are going to slaughter a beast,” trust Chairman Zolani Mkiva told Reuters news agency.

“We sacrifice the cow for this great achievement and we call on our ancestors to bless, to grace, to ensure that all goes well.”

Mr Shiceka, the co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister, was quoted in South African media as giving his support to the plan.

“The World Cup will be on the African continent and we will make sure that African values and cultures are felt by the guests,” the Citizen newspaper quoted him as saying.

The row comes amid attempts by activists to discontinue a customary Zulu bull-killing ceremony due to take place on 5 December. Activists have brought a legal challenge in a challenge to stop the ritual, known as Ukweshwama, when a crowd of young men kill a bull with their hands.

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1 Comment

  • At 2009.12.01 18:39, nath said:

    it is mere superstition to belive sacrifice of a cow will sanctify the stadiums. On the contrary such act of wanton violence on a cow will sully the spirit of the games which are competitive in nature and meant to build better human relationships. the poor cow/s should not suffer. you want to compete and conduct tournaments well have proper arrangements killing a cow will help solve problems created by lack of administrative arrangements.

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