Fifteen-year-old gang raped at an initiation school

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Initiates have smeared white clay on their faces and wrapped themselves in red and white blankets during an initiation ritual. Photo: Leon Sadiki/City Press
Initiates have smeared white clay on their faces and wrapped themselves in red and white blankets during an initiation ritual. Photo: Leon Sadiki/City Press


The Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) has voiced disgust at the alleged rape of a 15-year-old boy at one of the initiation schools in East London.

The Grade 10 pupil, who was circumcised during winter, had been hospitalised after he was allegedly gang raped by six men while undergoing the initiation process last month.

READ: Initiates are being massacred, says rights commission

Contralesa national general secretary Zolani Mkiva said it was terrible to hear about such a tragic incident.

He said:

It’s horrible and it shows that people are losing morality day by day. Now, we will not focus on the issue of regulations. The real deal is what happened to this young man who was traumatised in this manner. We express disgust at this kind of barbaric act. The law must do everything to arrest the culprits and put them in the darkest cells.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli said the case was opened on Monday.

“Circumstances surrounding the incident are forming part of the investigation. Police are conducting further investigations before any arrest could be made.”

Children’s rights activist Petros Majola of the Khula Community Development Project said he asked himself questions as to how a teenage boy got into being an initiate under the traditional system of ulwaluko [an initiation rite into manhood].

“However, I am shocked to learn he ended up in a hospital bed as a result of being gang raped. He has sustained very serious injuries. There is one person he has mentioned, and the painful part is that the culprit is his relative. I would like to appeal to all men in the province to take a moment and think deep when it comes to these acts of crime.”

He added he hoped that the case would be handed to the specialised family violence, child protection and sexual offence unit.

READ: Stigma regarded as main reason young boys go to illegal initiation schools

“We look forward to more arrests, including the traditional surgeon and traditional nurses who were caring for this boy while still in initiation school. This boy should still be enjoying childhood, but he is now in the hospital because someone hurt him when he wanted to be a man.”

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