Almost 80 initiates rescued from illegal initiation schools in Gauteng

2015-12-04 22:16
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - Almost 80 boys from the age of 10 upwards have been rescued from illegal initiation schools across Gauteng (in November and December), the co-operative governance and traditional affairs department said on Friday.

Since Monday, November 30, a total of 59 initiates aged between 10 and 23 have been rescued from illegal initiation schools in Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Fochville, department spokesperson Motsamai Motlhaolwa said.

After a number of parents approached the police with complaints that their sons were missing, an investigation into their disappearances began.

Orange Farm police spokesperson Captain Johannes Motsiri said about 20 boys were rescued from illegal initiation schools in the area, since November 18.

"Parents started coming to the police station saying their children had been kidnapped. They said they suspected the children had been taken to initiation schools.

"As the number of complaints increased, we started investigating. We found the first group on Monday last week in a backyard shack."

Motshiri says the group of about seven boys had not been circumcised. The owner of the school was not at the property when they arrived. The boys were taken to the police station, and subsequently returned to their families.

Motshiri said only two of the boys had opened kidnapping cases against the schools. In most cases, the boys had voluntarily taken themselves to these schools.

Most of them were coerced through peer pressure, he said.

No arrests have yet been made in the kidnapping cases However, in Kempton Park five people were arrested in connection with the running of an illegal circumcision school in the area.

On Friday Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Tshekiso Mofokeng said police officers on patrol came across a young boy along Old Pretoria road who was injured and had managed to escape the school.

"It is alleged by the boy that other boys aged 16 years old were kidnapped and kept in an open field near Old Pretoria road."

The boy took the officers to the place where they were being kept. Five other boys were found with wounds on their private parts.

The group was treated by paramedics on the scene before being transported to a local hospital. All six were from Sebokeng, Mofokeng said.

Five suspects were taken in for questioning.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  culture

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