King commended for role in fight against HIV, Aids

Deputy President David Mabuza has commended King Goodwill Zwelithini for taking the lead in the fight against HIV and Aids.

As the custodian and living embodiment of the culture and traditions of the mighty amaZulu nation, His Majesty was best placed to lead the campaign to get men in KwaZulu-Natal and hostels in Gauteng to circumcise to reduce the risk of spreading HIV, Deputy President Mabuza said.

He was speaking at the occasion of the conferment of an Honorary Doctorate to King Zwelithini at the University of Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday.

Deputy President Mabuza said the King is an extraordinary South African torchbearer leading the nation and the people of KwaZulu-Natal to proscribe HIV and Aids in the dustbin of history.

Through him, we have come to value and appreciate indigenous ways and traditional wisdom to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancy, pre-mature sexual intercourse, and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

His Majesty has led the fight against HIV and Aids and as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), I join him in reiterating our call to all our traditional leaders to work with us in finding ways to end Aids by 2030, Deputy President Mabuza said.

The Deputy President emphasised the need to intensify efforts to encourage people to test, to protect themselves and to abstain from risky sexual behaviour.

Together we must inform our people that HIV and TB are no longer death sentences. TB is curable and with ARV treatment, our people can live healthy and productive lives.

We must all join His Majesty in fighting stigma and discrimination of people who have contracted HIV or TB. It is stigma that kills our people because it discourages sick people from seeking help or disclosing their disease, he said.

With regard to Education, Deputy President Mabuza commended the Department of Higher Education for asking His Majesty to be the patron of education in the province.

We recall that last year you slaughtered cows for principals and encouraged them to lead by example and improve the matric results. We hope that our principals and teachers have not forgotten that, what will please you as a lasting gift for your 70th birthday, is for them to obtain a 100% pass rate.

The University of Zululand has recognized the extensive philanthropic work undertaken by King Zwelithini, to alleviate poverty and sufferings amongst his subjects.

To acknowledge the leadership of King Zwelithini was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Social Work (honoris causa).

Source: South African Government News Agency

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