Initiate death: Premier wants action

2013-07-01 11:50
A Xhosa boy covered with a blanket and smeared with chalky mud, sits in a field as he and others undergo a traditional circumcision ceremony into manhood. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

A Xhosa boy covered with a blanket and smeared with chalky mud, sits in a field as he and others undergo a traditional circumcision ceremony into manhood. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Johannesburg - Officials should clamp down on initiation schools that operate outside the law, North West Premier Thandi Modise said in a statement on Sunday.

“Chancers and those who commit atrocities at initiation schools undermine our tradition and culture and should be brought to book.

“We call on traditional leaders as custodians of our tradition and culture to monitor initiation schools within their areas of jurisdiction and report ill-treatment and illegal operations to authorities,” she said.

Modise's call for action comes after a 17-year-old boy was found dead at an initiation school at Majemantsho village, in Mahikeng, over the weekend.

The police’s preliminary investigations found he had been assaulted all over his body and head with a sjambok, said Lieutenant Colonel Lesego Metsi.

"... The deceased was found by another initiate lying dead outside their kraal and he called their principal," he said.

Two people, aged 28, were arrested and would appear in the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court on Monday.

On Wednesday, another five people were arrested after the burnt body of a 19-year-old initiate was found buried in a shallow grave at Doorenpan in the Ventersdorp district.

"It is alleged that between the time he joined the initiation school and 24 June, the deceased was brutally assaulted by the initiation school's principal, and he subsequently died," said Metsi.

The principal of the initiation school and four boys allegedly burnt the deceased's body and buried it at a municipal dumping side. Police and sniffer dogs found the remains in a field not far from the initiation school.

The principal, aged 32, and his four accomplices, aged between 17 and 21, would face murder charges in the Ventersdorp Magistrate's Court soon.

Read more on:    thandi modise  |  mahikeng  |  initiation

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