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By Alex Japho Matlala

Journalist


All systems go for initiation season

Limpopo gears up for initiation season, ensuring safety and legality with strict criteria for admission and oversight of circumcision schools.


The koma (initiation) period will kick off next week for thousands of Limpopo boys with the province’s over 600 circumcision schools “being watched like a hawk”.

MEC for cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs, Basikopo Makamu, said the provincial government, in collaboration with the Provincial Initiation Coordinating Committee (PICC), ensured the initiation schools operate safely and legally, preventing any fatalities and unauthorised schools.

PICC said only boys over the age of 12, with acceptable medical records, and those with a signed consent form by parents will be accepted for admission.

Addressing a pre-initiation workshop for senior traditional leaders in Polokwane on Tuesday, Kgoshi Boleu Rammupudu, deputy chair of the PICC, said initiation schools will run from 14 June to 13 July in all five Limpopo districts of Sekhukhune, Capricorn, Waterberg, Vhembe and Mopani.

“We have received 703 applications across all districts, but only 631 schools were approved. Those who were rejected were mainly because of jurisdiction related issues,” he said.

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“We’re an open book, and we approve without any favour or prejudice. Those who are unhappy about our selection process can still lodge formal complaints with the office of the premier, because we have nothing to hide.”

All systems go for initiation season

Sekhukhune district had 344 applications with 67 declined; Capricorn had 141 applications with one rejection; Mopani had 65 and three were rejected; Vhembe had 35 applications, with one declined while all 118 schools in the Waterberg region were approved.

Makamu said it was all systems go for this year’s initiation season.

“We are working closely with the South African Police Service, the provincial department of health, the office of the premier and hundreds of capable men and women who know medical matters to help our youth to graduate from these schools with pride and dignity,” he said.

Those still wanting to apply, must produce a signed consent letter by parents, have their medical papers checked by the surgeon or koma school principal and be 12 years and older, Makamu said.

ALSO READ: Initiation school leaders arrested after skeletal remains of two boys found

He warned school owners to charge acceptable rates or face the full wrath of the law.

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