Over 20 initiation schools closed

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IOL pic jan28 circumcision bush camp generic Associated Press National legislation or regulations are needed to tackle the problems associated with initiations in the country, Western Cape cultural affairs MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said. File photo: Schalk van Zuydam

Over 20 illegal initiation schools in the Sekhukhune District in Limpopo have been shut down, with more due to close, the provincial House of Traditional Leaders said on Friday.

“We have tried to work on the illegal initiation schools. More than 20 have been shut down,” said chairman Kgosi Malesela Dikgale.

He said the office of the house of traditional leaders had been visited by parents unhappy with the schools their children had attended, including some whose children were taken there by force.

Since Monday, provincial officials and police had been visiting all the schools in the Elias Motsoaledi, Ephraim Mogale and Makhuduthamaga municipalities.

“We have tried to visit every one of them,” said Dikgale.

All schools operating without a permit had been told to shut down by early next week.

“By Tuesday, we don't want to see anyone operating (at the illegal schools).”

Dikgale said legal initiation schools had also been visited to check the conditions at these sites.

At times access to the schools had been difficult.

“They are up the mountain and down the mountain.”

Dikgale said it was difficult to understand why people would open illegal initiation schools.

“We really don't know. Some of the prices they are charging are very, very high.”

Dikgale said a 17-year-old boy who had died due to complications during his initiation in Leboeng would be buried on Sunday.

His is the only reported death in connection with an initiation in the province this season.

Sapa



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