Maile welcomes arrest of bogus initiation school operators in Gauteng

This follows the deaths of two young initiates in the south of Johannesburg in less than a week.

FILE: An illegal initiation school in Gauteng was destroyed by police during raid to save students from harm. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Lebogang Maile has hailed police officials following the arrest of bogus initiation school operators in the province.

This follows the deaths of two young initiates in the south of Johannesburg in less than a week.

Maile called for the swift action by law enforcement agencies and government against those responsible for the unwarranted deaths.

“We want to send our condolences to the families of the deceased; we know this is a difficult time for them and we regret what has happened. We will work hard with the relevant authorities to prevent this from happening in the future.”

Earlier, illegal initiation schools were closed down in the Vaal and more than 20 young people were rescued.

'SUSPEND' INITIATION SEASON

Non-governmental organisation Men's Sector has called for the suspension of the initiation season in areas where young men have died.

Men's Sector is a forum with interests in a range of cultural and religious issues.

The organisation's deputy national chairperson Dr Matume Ganaga said while they realised that their plea is radical, society should accept that the situation was not normal.

Ganaga said the organisation was not attacking cultural practices.

“We are making this call to specifically protect the culture and most importantly, to protect human life. Of course, the numbers are the ones informing this call because since 1995, we’ve had well over 1,100 deaths of initiates.”

At least 25 initiates have died nationwide.