Illegal initiation school in Johannesburg claims one life

2019-12-25 12:50
Initiates gather during their graduation ceremony. (Sandile Ndlovu, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

Initiates gather during their graduation ceremony. (Sandile Ndlovu, Gallo Images, Sowetan, file)

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Yet another young initiate has died, this time at an illegal initiation school in Johannesburg, SABC News reported on Wednesday. 

The 23-year-old man reportedly died on Christmas Eve at a school near Crown Mines in Johannesburg.

According to the report, the owner of the school has been arrested.

Prince Manene Tabane, spokesperson of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, told SABC News that a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

"The initiate is from Sedibeng. The post-mortem has not yet been conducted, but from what we got from the people around the initiation school was that he started to lose [his] appetite on December 22 then he passed on [on December 24] at 03:00 in the morning in the initiation school.

"The police have been informed; I got a call last night from the NPC of the SAPS inquiring about the death of the initiate. When the police went there the school owner was arrested yesterday night," Tabane reportedly said.

Earlier this month, the cultural, religious and linguistic rights commission suspended initiation schools for a year in four regions of the Eastern Cape, especially where deaths occurred, until all compliance-related matters are comprehensively addressed, News24 reported.

On Thursday, the commission also called for the removal of initiates following the death of 23 of their peers from a number of factors, including dehydration.

Last week, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize called on traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape to "act in restraint" to save the lives of initiates.

He said the deaths have raised concerns and action should be taken against all those who could have played a role in them.

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

Read more on:    johannesburg
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