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Illegal initiation schools shut down

Crime & Courts

Delareyville - Two illegal initiation schools have been closed down in the North West, the traditional affairs department said on Monday.

The schools, in Agisanang and Delareyville, were closed on Saturday, spokeswoman Dineo Lolokwane said.

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FILE - In this photo taken Saturday, June 30, 2013 A Xhosa boy covered with a blanket and smeared with chalky mud sits in a field as he and others undergo traditional Xhosa male circumcision ceremonies into manhood near the home of former South African president Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa. At least 60 males have died at initiation schools in eastern South Africa since the start of the initiation season in May, health officials confirmed. Thirty of them died in the Eastern Cape in the last six weeks, and 300 others were hospitalized with injuries. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam, File)

“We received complaints from parents whose children went for initiation despite the fact that they were supposed to be in school classrooms and learning,” she said in a statement.

“Cultural schools are allowed to only operate during the official school holidays in accordance with the department of education's school calendar.”

At least 80 male and female initiates, aged between 14 and 50, were removed from the two premises and taken to hospital for medical examination.

“Some of the initiates went there without their parents' consent. They lived in appalling conditions without proper sanitation and water supply.”

Authorities were searching for the owners of the two schools. Lolokwane said the provincial government would speed up adoption of the Initiation Schools Matters Bill to fully regulate initiation schools.

Sapa

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