Police arrest

The Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on Monday called for prosecutions without delay of all perpetrators responsible for initiation fatalities.

Permanent CourtThe ministry has requested a meeting with the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the office of the National Police Commissioner to ensure ways of accelerating investigations, arrests and successful prosecutions of all perpetrators held accountable for deaths during this year’s initiation season, spokesperson Tsakane Baloyi said.

This year’s initiation season officially ended last week, but not before claiming the lives of 33 boys.
Of this figure, the Eastern Cape Province has reported 28 fatalities, the highest number in the country.
Limpopo reported three fatalities, whilst Mpumalanga reported one and North West one.

It means that the government has failed to achieve its goal for a zero fatality initiation season.
But the number of deaths this year was reduced by 11, compared with 2014 when 44 deaths were reported.
“This still remains very much unacceptable. Government send deepest condolences to all families that have lost their beloved ones,” Baloyi said.

The fatalities were mainly caused by, among others, abuse, neglect and by people who don’t uphold the interests of the culture and the sanctity of human life in general, he said.

The government had aimed for a “zero death” initiation season through the campaign that was launched before the winter season started.

The government commended all traditional leaders, departments and communities who worked with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in successfully affecting the arrests of those who contributed to the loss of life, abuse and assault of initiates, Baloyi said.

Police were also thanked for their swift action in shutting down illegal schools, he added.

The government endeavors to work tirelessly in its efforts to fight the scourge of deaths, abuse and assaults of initiates leading up to the coming summer initiation season in December, Baloyi said.

Illegal initiation rituals, which do not meet health and safety standards, claims many lives in South Africa every year.

Over the past 10 years, 500 initiates have died while 300 have lost their manhood, official figures show.
According to local custom, circumcisions are normally viewed as a traditional passage for a young boy to enter manhood. Enditem

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