Limpopo initiates return home, 17 deaths in Eastern Cape

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The families of initiates who have returned home from an initiation school at Nkomo village outside Giyani in Limpopo have expressed happiness that their children are back home safely. This weekend marks the closure of many initiation schools in the province.

There were about 326 initiation schools in the province and over 50 illegal ones.

One of the parents, Lucert Mathebula, could not hide her excitement at seeing the initiates smeared with red soil.

“My grandson and my son have returned safely and I am happy. My name from today is Happiness because I am very happy that the returned and they look beautiful.”

In June, three initiates died in different initiation schools in Limpopo.



17 initiates die in the Easter Cape

The winter initiation season in the Eastern Cape claimed 17 lives, including the death of a traditional nurse. More than 100 initiates were also rescued from illegal initiation schools.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) says the provincial initiation task team will meet soon to look at what went wrong, but also what worked. COGTA spokesperson, Mamnkeli Ngam, says they hope the cases before court are successfully prosecuted to send out a strong message.

“24 cases are before the courts of law in our province and that is encouraging to us. We want to see a situation where we work closely with the NPA to build watertight case so that all those arrested receive free and fair trials and get appropriate sentences. We want to send a signal that; any person who does not adhere to the law, is going to be prosecuted without fear of favour.”