Initiation conmen behaviour ‘satanic’

Eight people have been linked to the running of the illegal schools in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

FILE: Eight people have been linked to the running of the illegal schools in Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The men responsible for running illegal initiation schools in Mpumalanga exhibited satanic behaviour, Mpumalanga Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson Kgosi Mokoena said on Thursday.

"Some of the actions by the traditional surgeons were uncalled for and I can say satanic."

At least 28 teenagers died in Mpumalanga and Limpopo from botched procedures.

Eight people have been linked to the running of the illegal schools and a report has been handed to police.

Mokoena says officials must prosecute the suspects urgently.

The deaths sparked national outrage after it emerged the men had been running the schools without necessary authorisation.

Some were allegedly performed circumcisions while drunk or in the dark.

"We want this to be escalated right away in order to send a strong message to those who might want to do the same thing again. They are lambasting and tarnishing the image of our culture."

In May, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi blamed the deaths on conmen looking to make a quick buck.

"If you charge about R1,000 per initiate and you have 500 initiates, you've got half a million rand already. It's fast money and that's exactly what we're observing here."

The minister said laws are in place to govern who operates initiation schools, but these conmen abuse legislation.

"People hide behind democracy, citing it as a right to cultural expression. They come and launch it here in the city and say it's their culture."