Minister to consider regulation of initiation schools

2010-06-28 09:00

The minister of traditional affairs is considering the regulation

of initiation schools following reports of several deaths at illegal initiation


“The department has submitted a policy paper on the traditional

practice of initiation that seeks to introduce the accountability of traditional

leaders for this practice, as well as look into the general management of

initiation schools and the criminalisation and harsh sentencing for those found

to be running illegal initiation schools,” said minister Sicelo Shiceka.

City Press reported yesterday that dozens of young Xhosa initiates

were dying in the Eastern Cape’s bushes because of illegal initiation practices.

Many survivors had to be rushed to hospital with mutilated penises, which had to

be amputated to save their lives.

Shiceka said he was still considering the paper on the regulation

of the practice.

“The deaths are totally unnecessary. Parents need to talk to their

children more about the serious risks they subject themselves to in the name of

a long-honoured cultural practice,” said Shiceka.

“The police also must be even stronger in acting against those who

bring this cultural practice into disrepute through greed and a complete

disregard for tradition, resulting in the horrific deaths and maiming of our

young people.”

Shiceka said if anyone was found to be running an initiation school

without authorisation, police would arrest them immediately.

“Our young people should be encouraged to only attend legal and

reputable initiation schools that have the blessings of local traditional

leaders, government and parents,” he said.


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