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Frantic search for 30 missing boys in Gauteng

It’s alleged they were kidnapped and taken to initiation schools last Wednesday.

FILE: Ten minors have already been found in police operations, but the whereabouts of the others are not yet known. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police have confirmed at least 30 boys, aged between 13 and 17, have been reported missing in and around the Orange Farm area.

It's alleged they were kidnapped and taken to initiation schools last Wednesday.

Ten minors were found in police operations, but the whereabouts of the others are not yet known.

Orange Farm police say they are working with the parents of the 30 missing boys to find them.

The minors were last seen by their families exactly a week ago.

Over the weekend police found seven boys in an abandoned house in Evaton.

There were no adults in sight, but the minors say they were told they would be going on a trip.

Three other boys were then found at an illegal initiation school in Benoni on the East Rand.

At the same time, the father of one of 30 boys has told Eyewitness News he believes his son ran away from home to attend an initiation school.

Chicco Mokwena says the last time he saw his 16-year-old son was exactly a week ago.

Mokwena says he spent the weekend with police trying to find his son and the 29 other boys.

The Evaton father says when they raided an illegal initiation school in Randfontein, he realised his son's life could be in grave danger.

"The conditions were very bad. We found one boy who was seriously ill and even called an ambulance to come and pick up that boy. He was sick, thin and dehydrated."

While police have only confirmed the boys as "missing", Mokwena says he believes they have been taken to illegal initiation schools.

No arrests have been made but police are continuing to search both illegal and legal initiation schools for further leads.