The Guard

The Truth On Board

All-systems-go for winter initiation

By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – As initiation season kicks off on June 14 ,2024, the chairperson of the Free State provincial initiation coordinating committee Kgosi Nkgahle Tsotetsi says everything is in place to ensure the safe return of initiates.

Tsotsetsi said this in a telephonic interview with this publication on Wednesday June, 12, 2024.
“We have established committees from municipalities and district municipalities as well as delegates from traditional leaders to ensure that they monitor and oversee safety of the initiates while still at their respective schools. These committees are made up of community members that include nurses, police and environmental health inspectors. If the schools are established in chiefs’ land, such chiefs will appoint a delegate to monitor the safety of the children.”

He also outlined the conditions set for Free State initiation schools for the winter customary initiation season of 2024.
These conditions align with the Customary Initiation Act 2021 (Act No 2 of 2021) and other related legislations supporting the regulation of the initiation practice.

“Initiation schools with school-going age initiates must operate between 14th June 2024 and 5th July 2024, in alignment with the provincial school holidays. No initiation schools should commence before school holidays or continue beyond school holidays, unless exceptional circumstances are negotiated and substantiated with evidence,” Tsotetsi said.

He went on to encourage parents to submit application forms to the PICC c/o Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs or nearest municipal offices, accompanied by necessary documents.

“Only applicants approved by the PICC will be allowed to open initiation schools. No people from another province will be allowed to conduct initiation schools in the Free State province. Senior traditional leaders are responsible for initiation practices within their jurisdiction and will conduct regular inspections. All initiates must undergo compulsory medical health screening by a qualified medical practitioner before admission to an initiation school.”

He also advised parents and guardians to ensure initiation schools where their children are enrolled are registered with the PICC and comply with the customary initiation Act (No 2 of 2021).
“Unregistered initiation schools will be regarded as illegal, and the law will be enforced on them.

“Members of the public may use the following contact details to report any irregularities and illegal initiation school incidents to Mr Thabo Lehabe: (079) 210 5935 or Mr Daniel Nteo: (063) 834 7523.Let us work together to ensure safe initiation practices and put an end to illegal initiation schools for the winter customary initiation season 2024,” Tsotetsi concluded