Eastern Cape shuts down illegal initiation schools

DECEMBER 11, 2014

 Three people are being held at the Mbizana Police Station for kidnapping and performing an unlawful circumcision. 

The arrest follows a visit by the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Fikile Xasa in Elurholweni village to monitor the December initiation school season. 

During his visit, the MEC pounced on two initiation schools, where he rescued a total of 39 initiates. 

“These were illegal schools that put the lives of our initiates at risk. We had no option but to close them down and refer the initiates to the rescue centre in Port St Johns for further medical observation. As a caring government we want to save lives and put an end to the death of initiates,” said MEC Xasa. 

None of the initiates had the required official documentation including letters from the local traditional leaders, no premedical examination and no parental consent to undergo the traditional initiation ritual. 

Their amabhoma were destroyed to prevent them from being used for other illegal initiation. 

MEC Xasa was accompanied by members of the Traditional Initiation Forum (TIF), the South African Police Service, traditional leaders and government officials. 

Some of the rescued initiates were in a critical condition and were given immediate medical attention by officials from the Department of Health. 

MEC Xasa encouraged the community of Mbizana and other hot spot areas to work together through the establishment of TIF to end the deaths of initiates. - SAnews.gov.za