MAY NOT RETURN: Limpopo Initiation School Task team says the hundreds of initiation schools in the province are not fully successful as two boys perished. Picture: LUCKY NXUMALO/GALLO IMAGES
Initial reports on the traditional circumcision schools in Limpopo this year indicate that the ritual is not 100% successful, as was the case last year.
Yesterday Chief Vusani Netshimbupfe, chairperson of the Limpopo Initiation School Task Team, told The New Age that 306 initiation schools were based in the province this winter although the final report was not yet available.
“Reports from districts such as Waterburg and Sekhukhune are still outstanding and we hope to get them this week. Two initiates died separately in Ga-Mashishi Village in Sekhukhune and one in Nwametoa in Mopani respectively. We have not received postmortem reports on the cause of deaths as yet. One initiation camp was closed down after we set police on it because operators were using fake documents. We transferred the affected initiates to another school,” said Netshimbupfe.
He said although most of the initiation schools were for males, there were a few for females. “We will be able to give you more details in terms of gender and the exact number of initiates once we have rubber stamped the official report on initiation schools for this year,” he said.
Last year, there were no deaths in the 62 initiation schools with a roll of about 20000 in the province. The task team on initiation schools, which was comprised of traditional leaders and health practitioners including medical doctors and nurses, attributed the success to cooperation between all the stakeholders.
The department of education said there were no major interruptions with the schools’ programmes due to cultural initiation rituals this year, Pat Kgomo, the education spokesperson, said.
“But there was minor absenteeism in some places because most initiation schools finished their activities a week after our schools opened, however these problems were not widespread,” the spokesperson said.