Proud custom

Though tarnished by bogus bush surgeons, the initiation rite remains a proud custom credited among sections of the South African population with preparing many young men for adulthood challenges.

Though tarnished by bogus bush surgeons, the initiation rite remains a proud custom credited among sections of the South African population with preparing many young men for adulthood challenges.

But the real challenge for the custodians of the rite is how to root out illegal initiation schools by creating neighbourhood networks that alienate bogus operators.

Stamping out these schools has so far proven a difficult exercise because fly-by-night operators tend to elude the dragnet of police and traditional authorities.

But the weekend arrest of two teenage boys for running an illegal initiation school in Eastern Cape suggests that a degree of community awareness can be helpful in ferreting out the culprits.

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