The North West provincial government will act decisively against illegal initiation schools as well as any unlawful activities in initiation schools.
This follows the closure of an initiation school in Bodibe village near Litchtenburg where six initiates were rushed to Thusong Hospital after suffering from circumcision wounds.
North West Provincial Government spokesperson Cornelius Tanana Monama on Sunday said government’s view is that this cannot and should not be allowed to continue in order to ensure that the lives and health of initiates were not in danger.
“Government had no intentions of interfering with traditional practices and customs, however, it has a responsibility to ensure a balance between respect for culture and customs as well as the need to protect the health and human rights of the young boys who are taken to these schools.”
Abductions and forced admissions to initiation schools, human rights violations, deaths and other forms of atrocities have become defining characteristics of some initiation schools.
Mr Monama said the province believed that enlisting at an initiation school must be a voluntary exercise, requiring the sanction of parents in the case of minors.
As the province, Mr Monama said: “we strongly condemn the commercialisation of traditional initiation schools as well as failure by some of the organisers to respect the agreement between the provincial government and traditional leaders on the regulation of initiation schools.”
“The provincial government had a responsibility to curb unnecessary deaths and the abuse of tradition by unscrupulous individuals for financial greed,” Mr Monama added.