Mentally ill man dies after running away from initiation school

2015-07-09 15:17


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Polokwane - The Limpopo House of Traditional leaders has expressed disappointment with an initiation school operator who failed to adhere to rules and admitted a mentally ill man to the school, who later died.

The 25-year-old man died after attending an illegal initiation school in Schoonoord in the Sekhukhune District on Sunday, Chief Malesela Dikgale, chairperson of the Limpopo House of Traditional leaders, told a News24 correspondent.

It is alleged that the victim sought permission to go to the toilet and then fled from the school.

A search party from the school then found him in a mountainous area and took him to a nearby clinic where he died. An inquest docket has been opened.

Dikgale said the House of Traditional Leaders was disturbed by the two deaths in the province so far.

“We are disturbed that we have lost lives this season. We thought we had everything in order, but we are shocked by this incident. It appears the case of the mental patient was money driven,” said Dikgale

He said one of the guidelines and regulations were that initiates' health conditions needed to be checked first before admitting them to a school.

"We encouraged them to know the status of the initiates before admitting them, but this shows that the surgeon was behind money, and ignored the rules,” he said.

Circumcised without permission

Chairperson of the working committee of initiation schools in Limpopo, Hosi Eric Chauke, confirmed that another initiate had died at Maserumule village in Sekhukhune on Wednesday.

Chauke said the Maserumule school was legal.

“Our challenge now is the legislation that is in place which is called Northern Province Circumcision Schools Act 6 of 1996; there are some discrepancies in this Act," said Chauke.

"Now we have a bill called Limpopo Province Initiation School Act... it is now with the legal team... so that we can improve on that and also clearly stipulate how the prosecution will be executed,” Chauke.

He said the committee would visit the families and initiation schools to get more details on the deaths.

Police spokesperson Ronel Otto said the mentally ill victim was circumcised without his parents' approval.

“The victim burst into the men’s camps alone and the illegal surgeon circumcised him without requesting permission from his parents,” she said. 

Read more on:    polokwane  |  initiation

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