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Local initiation schools get the green light

Traditional leaders in Giyani are preparing for the annual initiation schools after approval was received from the MEC for CoGHSTA, Basikopo Makamu.

Initiation schools are held during the winter school holidays and mark a boy’s or girl’s growing into adulthood. Children are not allowed to be younger than 12 years old. Commenting on whether they are prepared, Hosi Thomo said that this year the initiation school will take place in Magodweni in Mavalani, one of the villages under his control.

“We have been preparing for this since the beginning of the year, and we have made all the necessary arrangements to ensure that we host a successful initiation school,” he said. Meanwhile, there are said to be more than ten registered initiation schools that are expected to open in various villages in Giyani on June 14. These villages include Nkomo, Vuhehli, Ngove, Ndhambhi, and Nkurhi.

Also read: Celebrations as initiates return from school

Meanwhile, Giyani police spokesperson, Sgt Ridgewell Rikhotso warned parents to declare if their kids have illnesses that could put them in danger on the registration form “It is important that parents sign a declaration form given to them by the organisers of the initiation school and indicate if their child has any kind of illness that they should know of. “If they do not declare it, a child may end up dying at an initiation school,” he said.

“Secondly, I need to warn everybody that if we receive any complaints about people who have forced somebody’s child into their initiation school, we will act. We will go and arrest whoever is involved,” he said. Rikhotso also warned against locals that may want to instruct those returning from initiation school. “People should understand that initiation takes place in the bush, and that is where it ends. If anyone beats returning initiates with sjamboks, they will be arrested,” he said.

Also read: Initiates return from initiation school

CoGHSTA approved 631 of 703 applications for initiation schools in Limpopo. The initiation school can be held between June 14 and July 31. Makamu said initiation schools not approved was because of “cross-over” issues, where people submitted applications to host initiation schools in territories that did not belong to them. “Last year, we had three deaths resulting from illegal initiation schools; hence this year, we want to ensure that no one dies by taking a zerotolerance approach to illegal schools,” he said.

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