Teenage boys to continue initiation at rescue centres

MORE than 20 Eastern Cape initiates will continue their initiation at rescue centres after being rescued from illegal initiation schools.

One of the boys, who are mostly younger than 16, was admitted to one of the four rescue centres in the province and later discharged.

“We are monitoring initiation schools and keeping an eye out for any illegal schools in our communities,” Community Development Foundation of SA executive director Nkululeko Nxesi said.

The initiates were rescued from Mfundisweni location in Flagstaff, as well as the western parts of Pondoland a week before the start of the summer initiation season.

Nearly 500 deaths of initiates were recorded between 2008 and last year, and more than 500000 were admitted to hospital following complications from botched circumcisions.

Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) general secretary chief Xolile Sokhaba believed continuous programmes around awareness would help reduce deaths and injuries.

Meanwhile, 11 initiates were taken to a secret location west of Johannesburg after being rescued from an illegal initiation school in Meyerton yesterday afternoon.

Contralesa Gauteng chairman Prince Manene Tabane said some parents did not know their children were at initiation schools. “We found Sotho and Xhosa initiates mixed at a Sesotho initiation school, and that is not how things are done.

“The situation is volatile. Our boys are in more and more danger as a result of increasing illegal initiation schools.”

Tabane said Contralesa was also working with police, government officials, parents and community members.

There was a risk of illegal initiation schools with the migration of illegal surgeons who ran away from the Eastern Cape and Lesotho. – Poppy Louw

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