Initiation deaths: 2 months, 0 arrests

2013-08-02 17:19

It’s two months later and no one has been arrested for the deaths of initiates in Mpumalanga.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said some dockets had been submitted to them but they were returned for further investigation.

NPA spokesperson Medupe Simasiku said the dockets were receiving “focused attention” from their prosecutors and that the NPA noted the number of deaths with concern.

“It is of course the duty of the (police) and not that of the NPA to investigate suspected criminal matters and to effect such arrests where there is a suspected perpetrator,” Simasiku said.

“We have obtained information on quite a number of matters that are still under investigation. However, no arrests have been made up to so far in all of them. Some of the dockets were submitted to prosecution by (the police) for perusal and direction and they were all sent back for further investigations,” he added.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi could only say that the police were not investigating any other cases above the 30 – 28 are murders while two are inquest dockets.

Hlathi declined to indicate how many of the 30 dockets had been submitted to the NPA for a decision.

“We can’t comment about dockets that are being handled by the NPA,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Mpumalanga department of health is refusing to shed light on the number of boys who had been admitted to hospital while undergoing initiation or to specify the reason for their admissions.

The department has been reluctant to give a clear picture of the extent of the problem that arose in the initiation schools in the province during the initiation season in May – where thousands of Ndebele boys underwent the passage-to-manhood ritual that involves circumcision.

Thirty boys, according to the department and provincial police, died during the season from haemorrhage, hypothermia and unnatural causes. Many others were admitted to hospitals, particularly in KwaMhlanga, for various complications.

Provincial health spokesperson Ronnie Masilela said: “If we reveal why the initiates ended up in hospital, we will be creating unnecessary perceptions within the communities. The department, of course, treated many of them in the schools and hospitals.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.