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At least 80 males rescued from illegal initiation schools across Gauteng

It’s understood 59 initiates have been found in and around the Orange Farm area since Monday.

FILE: Boys who have undergone a circumcision ceremony walk near Qunu in the Eastern Cape in 2013. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - At least 80 males have been rescued from illegal initiation schools across Gauteng.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs says 59 initiates, aged between 10 and 23, have been found in and around the Orange Farm area since Monday.

Eyewitness News spoke to a number of parents who suspected their children had been taken to initiation schools.

Parents joined police in search efforts after reporting their sons missing.

The department's Nhlakanipho Nkontwana says, "On Thursday, 25 were rescued and then on Friday, 37 were rescued in the Sharpeville area. In the Westonaria area, there are three illegal schools that have destroyed."

Meanwhile, it's emerged that eight young men have died from botched circumcision s in just the first week of the initiation season in the Eastern Cape.

The Provincial Health Department has confirmed two victims died on Friday morning.

Health spokesperson Luvuyo Bayeni says both the police and the National Prosecuting Authority are investigating.

"We have managed to bring them on board into what we call a provincial initiation technical team, which has all the stakeholders that contribute. It is easier for us now."