SA’s department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has strongly condemned the abduction of young men by some untrustworthy people who are running initiation schools.
Considering the latest abduction incident that took place in Orange Farm, last night, where about 27 young men were rescued, initiation forums together with the South African Police Services and other sectors are working hard to step up their safety measures of initiates all around the country.
“We are concerned that since the beginning of the winter initiation season the cases of abductions are in the increase even though we are carrying out our communication campaigns across the country,” said Minister van Rooyen.
Many initiation schools have opened last weekend due to school winter recess as per the South African school calendar and in Gauteng, cases of abduction have been recorded in areas such as Mamelodi, Daveyton and Orange Farm.
Other cases have been reported on the border of Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. In the Eastern Cape, about 84 initiates were rescued last week and five of them were in a serious condition and 79 were relocated to a safe area.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that about 13 young men and 14 who managed to run away have been rescued by the police. Those rescued were taken to Jabulani hospital and will soon be reunited with their parents.
However, SA government said it is unfortunate that even after government and all stakeholders have been talking to communities about the safety of initiates, the initiation death toll stands at 12, the Eastern Cape has 9, two in Mpumalanga and one in Gauteng.
“As government, we welcome the action taken by the parents who continue to work with us to ensure the safety of the young men going through the sacred passage. Those community members who report abducted young men and illegal schools operating in their areas.”
COGTA Deputy Minister Obed Bapela therefore called on communities and leaders of initiation schools to ensure all young men entering the initiation have parental consent and have went through all the stipulated requirements,
Communities are to report any wrong doing or suspicious initiation activities using the hotline number – 0800 111 166 or on social media #InitiationDTA or even at the nearest police stations.
Government lauds the hard work of the initiation forums across the country for their continued work to ensure that young men are protected and restoring dignity to this sacred tradition.