Initiation deaths: 23 to face charges

The NPA says summonses have been issued throughout Mpumalanga.

FILE:Teenage boys carrying food to their initiation school in Verena, Mpumalanga. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says 23 people will be prosecuted for the deaths of young men during last year's initiation season in Mpumalanga.

At least 30 teenagers died at seven initiation schools in that province, along with another 30 deaths across the country.

The NPA'S Nathi Mncube says the suspects, who are facing a range of charges, will appear in court soon.

"We're going to issue summons to have these people come to court. They will then appear in the regional courts in various places in Mpumalanga."

At the weekend, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) suggested initiates should be taken for medical screening before going undergoing the process.

The group unveiled a plan which it believed could eradicate the number of deaths at initiation schools.

"We have to make sure that we finally find the correct way of practicing our culture without harming any individual," said Contralesa President Setlamorago Thobejane.