Kidnapped boys rescued from initiation school

Eleven boys from Daveyton were kidnapped and taken to an initiation school in Mpumalanga.

FILE: Boys who have undergone an initiation ceremony walk in the Eastern Cape. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Police have arrested three people and rescued eleven boys who were kidnapped from the streets of Daveyton on the East Rand and taken to an initiation school near KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga.

The men were arrested on Sunday after the teenagers' parents opened a case of kidnapping.

The boys are aged between 13 and 16 years old and were taken to the initiation school without their parents' consent.

The police's Mack Mngomezulu says a Community Policing Forum member is among those arrested.

"A Quantum minibus which was confiscated was used to transport these youngsters. Three suspects were arrested, including one of the community patrolling members. What I can say is that parents need to report these incidents."


At the same time, the Eastern Cape Health Department says nine teenage boys are receiving urgent medical care after they were injured during botched circumcisions.

The boys had apparently undergone the procedures at unregistered traditional initiation schools without their parents' consent.

The department says it's possible more teens may have been injured

Earlier this month, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs said new regulations proposed to govern initiation schools could see the use of modern medical practice to minimise injuries while women would also play a greater role.

60,000 young boys undergo traditional circumcisions across the country annually.

Over the past few years, interventions by the Health Department have seen the number of fatalities decrease.

Government said the proposal is aimed at streamlining standard medical practice with cultural norms.

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela explained.

"The new instruments invented and new technologies are available. It still gets the same achievements of the removal of the foreskin and instead of using old instruments, it uses modern practices. It doesn't compromise culture at all."