Initiate allegedly ‘burnt on feet and head’

2018-01-26 06:00
PHOTOS: Siphelele nketoThe young man’s foot with sores that were allegedly burnt at the initiation school.

PHOTOS: Siphelele nketoThe young man’s foot with sores that were allegedly burnt at the initiation school.

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A 17-YEAR-OLD initiate is in pain after he was allegedly burnt with hot water by men at a traditional initiation school in Kokstad.

He is being treated at EG and Usher Memorial Hospital.

On Monday his cousins, his family and the Griqua Traditional Council Gabriel Marais chairperson visited him in hospital and were shocked at his condition. His uncle Charles Walstroom said the young man was taken home by some men on January 6, but no one informed his family that he had sores on his feet.

“The next day his relatives saw him in bed complaining about pain in his feet and he was taken to hospital,” said Walstroom.

Speaking to Fever from hospital, the initiate said that some men from the initiation school allegedly beat him with sticks and poured hot water on his feet. He said other initiates received the same punishment and he reported the matter to senior teachers, but nothing was taken seriously.

“I was not forced to take traditional route of manhood and I knew that some initiates were punished when they couldn’t remember what they had told, but they weren’t burnt with hot water,” he said, indicating the sores on his feet, head and back.

On January 9 a traditional event, attended by government officials, MECs, community members and King Goodwill Zwelithini was held at the Shayamoya sport field to welcome the return of 206 young men from the traditional initiation schools.

At the event no one spoke or condemned the abuse of initiates at traditional initiation schools, instead people applauded the work done by the initiation institute, Indlondlo, for the “zero death” of initiates, unlike other places.

Fever was informed that for the past four years young men from the Griqua community have been using the traditional way of manhood instead of the medical route and this was supported by Griqua Traditional Council.

Marais said he will arrange a meeting with the people involved in traditional initiation schools in Kokstad to report the matter and find out what happened.

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