'They have tortured them to a point where they are afraid to go back home'

With the winter season in full swing and with many parents sending their boys to initiation schools, there has been a call to curb the scourge of bogus schools.

On Monday, 69 boys were rescued from illegal initiation schools in and around Bizana in the Eastern Cape and last week, 21 boys were rescued from an illegal initiation school in Mabopane.

Read: EC House of Traditional Leaders 'outraged' at deaths of initiates

Bongani Bingwa talks to Isihlangu Sobukgwari Namasiko organisation chairperson Peter Mahlangu about the work it does, and how illegal schools can be stopped.

Firstly, let me explain who we are and what we do. Isihlangu Sobukgwari Namasiko is an organisation which was established to protect, guide and promote traditional culture. In recent years, we have had a problem in Ekurhuleni where boys are abducted from their homes and taken to illegal initiation schools in Mabopane without the permission of their parents.

Peter Mahlangu, Chairperson - Isihlangu Sobukgwari Namasiko

The parents of abducted boys would approach the organisation in assisting with rescuing their children, he explains.

Mahlangu alleges that initially, the police were not helpful and told them that initiation matters are traditional matters. However, they have recently started working with the police.

Three weeks ago we went to Mabopane and rescued about 31 boys under the age of 13. When we save these boys, we find them frightened. It is almost like they have tortured them to a point where they are afraid to go back home.

Peter Mahlangu, Chairperson - Isihlangu Sobukgwari Namasiko

Listen below to the full interview:


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