Home South Africa Baal police rescued 27 teenagers from an illegal initiation school

Baal police rescued 27 teenagers from an illegal initiation school


A group of initiates on a walk near the mining school.

  • More Vaal boys are expected to disappear during the initiation season this summer.
  • Police rescued 27 minors from an illegal mining school.
  • The principal and his team then attacked the Ewaton police station.

The impending closure of schools for the summer holidays could lead to an increase in the number of missing youths believed to be in mushroom picking schools in the Vaal district.

On Tuesday, police rescued 27 youths aged 14 and over from an illegal initiation school outside Sebokeng.

Ewaton police carried out the rescue with the monitoring team of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) based in Waala.

Police were initially looking for three missing Evaton boys who left their homes two weeks ago.

Sipinare Mafokeng and his colleagues from the monitoring team have been inundated with complaints about missing teenagers in the waala.

READ | More than 100 boys rescued from illegal initiation schools in the EU

“Some of them are forced to attend mining school. They then leave their homes to join their peers in the mountains. Their pressure comes from different sectors of society.

“On November 27, we received a complaint about 11 missing teenagers. Some of them have been found and rescued. This is a serious challenge for their parents and us,” Mafokeng said.

“We monitor all the schools, making sure they comply with the laws and traditions. Some of the boys we rescued are 14 and 15 years old. The legal age is 16.”

READ | Dying to be Men: Driving the Growth of Illegal Initiation Schools

Mafokeng added that there are 36 legally registered mining schools in the waala.

Seventeen of these registered schools cater for girls and 19 for boys.

“We have a database of all registered primary schools this season. We don’t want to take any chances. Our children’s lives are at risk if they attend illegal schools. Some of them are constantly on medication and have not taken their medication since they left school. houses.

He said:

A few days ago we rescued another one [chronic] a boy near Vereeniging, in an unregistered school. The boy spent two weeks there. His health caused concern. He did not take his daily medication, putting his life at risk.

Mofokeng’s other concern was that all the illegal schools refused to comply with sanitary regulations.

By law, each initiate must undergo a medical examination before departure, Mafokeng said.

“All initiatives must bring a medical certificate with them to school. The first thing we require from every child when visiting all our regional schools is a medical card. Otherwise, the child will be declared illegal.

“These illegal schools give us a headache. We comb [every veld in] Baal is looking for missing children. We preach daily at various venues, we call on the directors to obey the law.

“Ordination is a sacred practice that must be respected. We cannot allow people to disparage this practice to make money off the lives of children,” Mafokeng said.

Rescue team

Mofokeng and his team joined Ewaton police in the search for the three missing boys on Tuesday.

However, their search led to the discovery of 24 other initiators in an illegal school outside Sebokeng. This school was later set on fire by Mafokeng and his crew.

Police spokesman Shaan Mazapi confirmed that the three missing boys were found along with 24 others at an unregistered initiation school.

“The owners of this school were injured. They came to Ewaton police station and threw stones. They also damaged a car belonging to a member of the school who was on duty. One person was arrested for malicious damage to property. Police are looking for other suspects who fled the scene.” , – said Motsapi.

He added that the owners of the illegal ordination school claim that the missing teenagers belong to them.

“No one has the right to attack the police station. Whenever we receive a missing person complaint, we investigate the case and make sure we find them. We cannot be threatened. We must ensure that the law is followed,” Matsapi said.

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