Christiana - Illegal initiation schools will be shut down, North West premier Thandi Modise said on Sunday in condemning the death of an initiate in Christiana at the weekend.
“One death at an initiation school is a death too many. Chancers and those who commit atrocities at initiation schools undermine tradition and culture and should be brought to book,” said Modise in a statement.
On Saturday, North West police reported that they were investigating the death of a 17-year-old initiate in Christiana.
Captain Pelonomi Makau said the youth was dead when he was taken to the Utlwanang clinic in Christiana by an initiation school teacher at 9pm on Friday.
The teenager had no visible injuries. A post mortem would be performed on his body to determine the cause of death.
Modise said she trusted that the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death would be concluded shortly so the teenager's family could have closure.
Initiation was meant to be a rite of passage filled with “healthy, safe positive learning”, and a “bonding experience,” she said.
Health screenings and check-ups were conducted at registered initiation schools to ensure none of the youths died of bleeding, dehydration or other medical conditions.
She said traditional leaders had a responsibility to report illegal initiation schools to the authorities.