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Alleged victim’s mother calls for initiation schools to be shut

The CRL commission has been hearing emotional testimonies from family members and victims of initiation schools.

FILE: A picture taken on 20 November 2009 of young boys from the Xhosa tribe attending a traditional initiation school in Libode in the Eastern Cape Province. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Family members of victims of initiation schools have told cultural watchdog, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL), that they have lost all hope in the practice as it threatens the lives of their children.

The commission is currently holding hearings into the deaths of young men at initiation schools.

Nearly 600 young men have died in the Eastern Cape alone in the past three years.

The CRL commission has been hearing emotional testimonies from family members and victims of initiation schools.
A woman whose son was abducted and tortured in the Vaal says taking her son to an initiation school was the biggest mistake.

“He was burnt on his feet. I asked them what happened to my son and they said he was cooking pap and the pot fell into his foot.”

She has called for initiation schools to be shut.

The commission says the deaths of initiates should outrage South Africans as much as the Marikana massacre and the recent Life Esidimeni tragedy do.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)