Many have taken the story of an unofficial visit to a bush initiation school in GaMakgaba, near Solomondale, by Public Service and Administration minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi with a grain of salt.
The minister was earlier reportedly found in the school in the company of Dikgale. The minister said:
“I can confirm that I have visited and spent a few nights at an initiation school in Solomondale, in the company of Kgoshi Malesela Dikgale, but only went there as a visitor.”
Many believed the minister actually visited the school for initiation. An unknown source revealed that Ramatlhodi truly visited the school for initiation.
The source said, the minister occupied a separate tent from other three tents occupied by other initiates.
“Though we’ve been barred from revealing initiates’ identities without their permission, I can safely confirm that Ramatlhodi is among the initiates at the school.
I went to check what was happening inside that tent and saw Ramatlhodi,” the source said.
But the minister refuted the claims, stating that he visited the initiation centre to see if they are playing by Limpopo initiation rules and to ensure there are no deaths.
Ngoako Ramatlhodi Wasn’t Initiated
Speaking to reporters, He said: “I do not have to hide the fact that I went to that school. There’s no mystery about the fact that I visited it. I realised that the schools were working together with health officials to ensure good health to initiates.”
He also admitted sleeping at the school twice. The minister however denied allegations that he was circumcised at a Lesotho hospital while in exile in that country in 1980, as alleged by his elder brother Silas.
“I attended an initiation school in Tembisa in 1976. I also know all the rituals that are being performed in initiation schools.”
Responding to family complaints about hiding, the minister asserted that his relatives could not account for his whereabouts because they know little about him.
“I was raised by my cousins and other strangers and they are the ones who know most of the things about me,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, the initiates would be graduating from the school on Friday, as confirmed by Dikgale, Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders chairman.