Illegal initiation schools closed down

The people responsible for operating illegal initiation schools in Mpumalanga have been banned for life.

FILE: The people responsible for operating illegal initiation schools in Mpumalanga have been banned for life. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The people responsible for operating illegal initiation schools in Mpumalanga have banned for life, Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson Kgosi Mokoena said on Friday.

At least 29 teenagers lost their lives in the province since the start of the initiation season.

Mokoena said initiates will now be required to undergo medical examinations to determine whether they are fit to withstand the process.

He adds parents will now be responsible for bringing their children to the schools and must ensure necessary permits are in place.

Mokoena warned that those who perform the rituals without permits will be prosecuted.

"Those people who fail to adhere to the norms and standards will be prosecuted as quickly as possible."

The chairperson says a strong message must be sent to all "chancers".

On Thursday, Mokeona said the men responsible for running the schools exhibited satanic behaviour.

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

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 people allegedly performed circumcisions while drunk or in the dark.