Arrest made for initiate's death

It is alleged a 17-year-old initiate was assaulted with a sjambok.

It is alleged the 17-year-old initiate was assaulted with a sjambok. Several teenage boys have died since the start of the 2013 initiation season. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Two suspects linked to the death of a 17-year-old initiate in Mahikeng in the North West Province have been arrested.

Police spokesperson Lesego Metsi says the men were arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning after a fellow initiate discovered the boy's body outside the initiation kraal.

The initiate alerted the deceased's family who then called the police.

Metsi says preliminary investigations reveal the boy was assaulted with a sjambok.

The suspects are expected to appear briefly before the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court on charges of murder.

A GROWING PROBLEM

Botched circumcisions have claimed the lives of over 40 teens across the country since the start of the 2013 initiation season in June.

Last week, people responsible for operating illegal initiation schools in Mpumalanga were banned for life from the practice.

They were allegedly performing circumcisions while drunk or in the dark. Some were also exhibiting satanic behaviour.

Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Chairperson Kgosi Mokoena said initiates in the area would be required to undergo medical examinations to determine whether they were fit to withstand the process.

Earlier in June, eight boys in the Eastern Cape who underwent illegal circumcisions were hospitalised after suffering severe dehydration and hallucinations.

In another incident, a 15-year-old teen was castrated.