74 Initiates returned from the mountain unharmed

Initiates have signed an anti-Gender Based Violence and crime pledge after they returned from initiation school in Mpumalanga Ogies.

The 2022 initiates of the Sogutjhe Royal House in Phola Location signed a pledge on Friday morning, 01 July against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Crime on their arrival.

The Royal House said they sent seventy-four (74) initiates to the initiation school in April and all 74 of them are back and well. The Anti-GBV and Anti-Crime pledges were led by Ikosi Sipho Sombali Mahlangu as part of the royal house’s social integration of initiates.

Ikosi Mahlangu said the royal house is pleased that there were no fatalities reported and all initiates came back well and healthy. He said the groundbreaking initiative was aimed at educating the initiates on the importance of protecting young girls and women in the face of the rising number of abductions of young girls, he further said young men can play a crucial role in the fight against crime within their communities.

Meanwhile, early this year the Mpumalanga provincial government raised concerns regarding the already spiking number of deaths in the province,

The Mpumalanga premier, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, expressed that the provincial government had received eight recorded fatalities at the beginning of the initiation season from initiation schools across the province.

The provincial government has partnered with the traditional leaders however concerns remained high that the increase in illegal initiation schools would contribute to the horrific deaths of young initiates who would be kidnapped and forced into these illegal initiation schools.

Premier said the majority of them died of dehydration, and some would get infections during the initiation process.

The premier told the provincial House of Traditional Leaders that she was distressed by the deaths.

Furthermore, the chairperson of the Congress of Traditional Leaders (CONTRALESA) in Mpumalanga, Kgosi Lamarck Mahlangu, said the province was expecting at least 50 000 young men at this year’s initiation season.