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Traditional Affairs condemns abduction of young men into initiation schools

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela says the safety of the men and boys is not the sole responsibility of govt.

Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Traditional Affairs Department has condemned the abduction of young men to legal and illegal initiation schools.

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela says the safety of the men and boys is not the sole responsibility of government and has called on parents to play a part by using legal initiation schools.

Bapela says his department is working closely with the South African Police Service (Saps) to bring illegal institutions to book.

His spokesperson Legadima Leso says, "We're appealing to communities to report to the nearest police stations so that such issues are handled with immediate effect. It is these challenges that would lead to unreasonable and senseless deaths."

Last year, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) and police rescued 21 boys after they were abducted from their homes in Orange Farm.

About 29 illegal schools were shut down and 70 initiates were rescued during an operation between police and traditional leaders in the 2015 initiation season.