Probe into 29 initiates' deaths complete

2013-06-24 21:29
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Mwamhlanga - A report on the deaths of 29 initiates in Mpumalanga will be released on Tuesday, the provincial House of Traditional Leaders said.

Chairperson Kgoshi Mathupa Mathibela Mokoena told Sapa on Monday that the report was complete, but had not yet been signed off.

"We can confirm that the investigations have been concluded and the report will be tabled on Tuesday. We have to first consult with other authorities concerned," said Mokoena.

Identified in the report were people who could face criminal charges for the deaths - since 7 May - at initiation schools in Siyabuswa, KwaMhlanga, Verena, Kwaggafontein, Middelburg, Bethal, Belfast, and Evander.

"We have also forwarded the names of the people who were involved to the police, to check on crimes, which we believe to have been committed."

Mokoena said the report was compiled by the provincial departments of health and co-operative governance.

NPA’s response

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi said police were awaiting a response from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

"As we said earlier, the dockets are to be sent to the director of public prosecution for a decision. We have sent the first phase of the dockets and we are waiting the response from the National Prosecuting Authority.

"Other dockets are to be completed soon, and yes, we forwarded the names with all the information that came from the House of Traditional Leaders and the involved departments."

Hlathi said 29 deaths had been reported. Two of these were found to be from natural causes. The rest were being investigated as murders.

"We have also taken body tissue of the two inquest victims for forensic investigations, because information we got is that their deaths were natural, but we have to also verify that," he said.

Read more on:    npa  |  mbombela  |  culture

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