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ANCYL: Initiation schools should be regulated

"We believe these deaths are unnecessary and can be avoided. The ANC Youth League [ANCYL] calls on government and traditional leaders to develop a national framework to regulate initiation schools," league spokesperson Bandile Masuku said in a statement on Wednesday.

The league proposed all initiation schools be registered with the health department and subjected to stringent registration processes.

"[The registration should] include, among other requirements, the presence of experienced traditional surgeons and the utilisation of safe, modern and sterile equipment."

On Friday, an initiation school owner in Limpopo was granted bail after he allegedly shot a 17-year-old initiate, police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

Kgoshi Komane Motshana allegedly shot and wounded the sleeping boy at GaMotshana near Burgersfort.

"Motshana was arrested that day and was granted R2 000 bail," Mulaudzi said.

He said the gun allegedly used was seized. Motshana was charged with attempted murder and would be back in the Tubatse Magistrate's Court on August 30.

Meanwhile, police on Tuesday said that five people were arrested since the start of the initiation season in the Eastern Cape.

The arrests were made in different parts of the province since May, Colonel Sibongile Soci said on Tuesday.

Thirty initiates dead
Thirty initiates died in the province during the current initiation season, the provincial health department said on Sunday.

Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said in the most recent case of botched circumcisions during the initiation season, 10 initiates were rescued from a forest in Mbizana.

"The 10 initiates' private parts are rotten. They are badly damaged. Their condition is scary," he said at the time.

They were recovering in hospital.

A total of 293 initiates are currently in hospitals in the province, and are recovering from dehydration, gangrene and septic wounds. Some had lost their genitals.

'Crack down on this growing problem'
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said at the time that illegal initiation schools were criminal activities masquerading as respected customs.

"Activities that have led to the deaths of initiates, particularly in the Pondoland region of the Eastern Cape, must be harshly condemned," he said in a statement.

In some illegal schools, young men had been taken by force and money had been demanded from their families.

"The justice, crime prevention and security cluster must consider … the establishment of a specialised unit to crack down on this growing problem and halt it decisively in its tracks," he said.

He said those who were arrested had to be speedily prosecuted and the cases hastily concluded. – Sapa

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