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25 July 2018

Eastern Cape sharpening tools to ensure safety during initiation season

During the initiation season, SAPS coordinators will be paying regular and random visits to initiation schools to check for compliance to the act regulating traditional initiations.

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At least 196 coordinators from all police stations in the Eastern Cape province have been equipped with one vehicle each to ensure that they are able to properly monitor and police the 2018 Winter Traditional Initiation Season.

This year’s winter initiation season has been divided into three categories: before, during and after the initiation.

Dedicated detectives

Preparations began last November when coordinators attended training on how best to monitor the initiations. Awareness campaigns were also conducted to inform the initiates and parents on how the law regulates initiation.

During the initiation season, SAPS coordinators will be paying regular and random visits to initiation schools to check for compliance to the act regulating traditional initiations. Those caught in violation of the Eastern Cape Customary Male Initiation Practice Act would be arrested.

In addition, coordinators would search for drugs, alcohol and illegal weapons that may be hidden inside traditional initiates' huts. This would be done to eliminate any possibility of criminals using initiation huts as hideouts. Initiation Forum members would also be protected while executing their duties when they were vulnerable to attack.

Dedicated detectives have been assigned to investigate all initiation-related cases and tasked with taking all the suspects and linked cases to court for decision. 

Averting any harm

Strategic partners from Cogta (Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs), the Department of Health, National Prosecuting Authority, Department of Education, the Office of the Premier and NGOs within the community will combine forces and resources to avert any harm and potential danger to Eastern Cape children undergoing initiation.

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga assured the community that the police will do their best to prevent any deaths and ensure a safe initiation season.

Last year’s summer initiation season claimed 17 lives across the province.

The breakdown of deaths is as follows: OR Tambo 9, Alfred Nzo 2, Joe Gqabi 1, BCMM 1, Chris Hani 1 and Amathole 3. – Health-e News.

Image credit: iStock

 
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