Police Raids Illegal Initiation School in Khayelitsha

Two young boys have been rescued from separate illegal initiation camps after a police raid at Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha on Tuesday. 

In the Western Cape the practice of initiation has been suspended until further notice as a result of COVID-19 disaster regulations. Despite this initiation schools have continued operating in the province. 

The South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson, FC Van Wyk said the police received a complaint on Tuesday of an illegal initiation school that was operating in Khayelitsha. 

“[Police] found two youngsters that were already initiated. There were no caregivers present, nor the traditional surgeon. The initiates were taken by their parents and the huts broken down. Cases have been registered for investigation,” he said.

Vice-chairperson of Somagwaza Institute Mark Khoabane said the two initiation sites were discovered by community members on Sunday.

Khoabane called on parents to comply with the ban placed in the province on initiations this summer. He said that it was sad for him to witness this situation and that he felt for the young boys who had to be taken to the authorities and be charged by the police.

The structures of the initiation site have been taken down and law enforcement says more harsh action will be taken should other initiation schools be discovered in the Western Cape province. 

Those found at the initiation school in Khayelitsha says they were unaware of the suspension put in place for the month of December. 

The leaders of the initiates have expressed that the self-esteem of the young boys will be ruined as they have to go out and face the public without having completed the initiation practice. 

"This will be hard on them because they will have to go to the hospital to heal. And it will be embarrassing for them if people know about this." said one leader. 

Parents and the people in charge of looking after the initiates face a fine or 6 months imprisonment for not adhering to the level 1 regulations in the Western Cape. 

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