Six arrested after initiation school death in Ikageng

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Ikageng police have arrested a 32-year-old Lesotho national and his five accomplices after a 17-year-old died at an initiation school recently.
On 8 July, the suspects were found in the veld next to Dassierand Road in Ikageng and arrested. They have been charged with the murder of the teenage boy, who took part in their unauthorised initiation programme.
The boy was certified dead by a doctor at the school in Ikageng. Upon arrival at the school, police found 37 initiates, many of whom were in poor health. The owner was arrested when he could not produce the necessary documentation on request.
The school was closed down by police and other stakeholders on 9 July. The owner and his five accomplices, aged between 23 and 32, are due to appear in the Potchefstroom Magistrates Court on 16 July. The police have warned parents to check if initiation schools are registered before enlisting their children.
The Democratic Alliance has issued a statement, congratulating the police on this arrest.
“The DA condemns any unregulated practice where one faces the prospect of death or the threat of severe disfigurement. The ministers of Health and of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs must put an action plan on the table for these schools to be regulated in the correct manner. The DA believes a coordinated effort should be made to protect these young men when they embark on this important path to manhood,” says Juanita Terblanche, constituency leader.
The acting provincial commissioner of police, Major General Jacob Tsumane, lashed out at opportunists that endanger young lives by conducting these rituals under unauthorised, risky circumstances.
“Initiation of our children is an ancient traditional practice and a ritual, but some see it as a way to make a quick buck,” he said.

Dustin Wetdewich

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