05 JULY 2023

The CRL Rights Commission has learnt with dismay about an illegal initiation school in Sekhukhune District Municipality which was reportedly discovered on 25 June 2023 and that it allegedly was not even registered with the Department of
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).

The CRL Rights Commission whose mandate is to protect and promote the rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities applauds the swift work of the police in Limpopo for closing down that illegal school and thereby save the lives of the young men. It is also commendable that the suspects responsible for the illegal initiation school have been served with a notice to appear at the Nebo Magistrate court in the coming week facing charges of contravening the Customary Initiation Act of 2021. But also, those illegal traditional surgeons go against the commitments and resolutions that were taken at the National Initiation Indaba convened on 24-26 April 2023 in Gauteng which affirmed the need to preserve the lives of young men who go through this cultural initiation practice.

The National Initiation Indaba implored all stakeholders to ensure that they follow all the necessary prescripts and requirements thereby ensuring the protection of this traditional practice. Importantly, everyone playing a role in the practice of initiation should do so being driven by the understanding that this practice helps to inculcate the values of Ubuntu, respect, humility, hard work, defence of the community and families, but it also enhances responsible citizenship where the young men are brought up with the interest of the community at heart.

The Commission appeals to all SAPS stations, the various law enforcement agencies and community leaders throughout the country not only to ensure that this cultural practice of initiation is highly valued and protected as it contributes to the rite of passage of young men to adulthood, but that all those who run illegal schools face the might of the law. Importantly, the enforcement of the law will go a long way to eradicate instances of young men at initiation schools who end up severely injured, suffering penal amputation or even dead, thus robbing families and communities of the positive contributions which the young initiates would have made in building our nation.

Issued by the CRL Rights Commission

For inquiries contact:

Mpiyakhe Mkholo on 0836594974 or mpiyakhem@www.crlcommission.org.za
Beverley Mukhavhuli on 066 282 6067 or beverley@www.crlcommission.org.za

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