As the winter initiation season comes to an end, government would like to welcome all the graduates from the initiation schools. The initiation season officially ended last week before the reopening of schools on Monday. Government congratulate all the provinces and all the stakeholders who heeded the clarion call for zero fatality initiation season and these were Gauteng, Western Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Northern Cape.
However, government is also concerned about the high number of deaths that happened during this season. Thirty three lives have been lost as compared to 44 deaths during the same season in 2014. Of this figure, the Eastern Cape has reported 28 fatalities, which is the highest number in the country.
Limpopo reported three fatalities, which incidents occurred mainly at unregistered schools, whilst Mpumalanga reported 1 and North West 1. This still remains very much unacceptable. Government send deepest condolences to all families that have lost their beloved ones.
The Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 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 for all perpetrators of fatalities without delay. 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.
Government had aimed for a “Zero Death” initiation season through the campaign that was launched before the winter season started. The meeting agreed that numerous valuable lessons have been learned during this all important engagements. To this end, 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.
Government also commends 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. Police were also thanked for their swift action in shutting down illegal schools.
There is a sigh of relief as initiates have returned back to their homes as the winter initiation season has come to an end and the focus would be on the boys who are still in hospitals as a result of injuries. Government calls upon all affected parents to report all cases of unlawful conduct and to avail themselves as witnesses to ensure efficient investigations, swift arrests and successful prosecutions.
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