Emotions soar at burial of initiate who wanted water

Family and friend mourn the passing of Tlotlo Sedibe during a funeral service held at his home in Setlopo village. Tlotlo lost his life at illegal initiation school after he was found beaten up to death. Photo: Tiro Ramatlhatse
Tlotlo Sedibe, illegal initiation schools, Setlopo, murder, funeral Family and friend mourn the passing of Tlotlo Sedibe during a funeral service held at his home in Setlopo village. Tlotlo lost his life at illegal initiation school after he was found beaten up to death. Photo: Tiro Ramatlhatse
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

Emotions ran high at the funeral service of a 14-year-old boy who was beaten to death for trying to escape from an initiation school.

Mourners who spoke at the service vowed to stop illegal initiation schools in the area.

Tlotlo Sedibe of Setlopo village in Mahikeng, North West, was killed last week, allegedly by fellow initiates who caught him while trying to escape.

He had apparently escaped to break a seven-day water restriction when he could no longer handle being thirsty.

The initiation school allegedly refused to give him and fellow initiates any water to until their first seven days in the initiation school expired. But after day six, Sedibe apparently told everyone that he wanted to go back home.

His aunt Weliminah Makokwe urged mourners and the community of Setlopo at large to come together and form a community policing forum that will patrol the village.

"His death is a wake-up call, if he was not at an illegal initiation school, my nephew could have still been alive,"
she said.

"We do not want to see any tent or any form of makeshift initiation school around here, especially those who are illegal."

Sketches of the postmortem report showed that both Sedibe's knees were broken and had a cut on his head as well as very severe wounds and bruises all around his body.

Sedibe's uncle Willie Molete said they had to bury Sedibe before the initiation school principal Koboyatshwene Sello returned his clothes.

"He is refusing to give us his clothes. What is worse is that only one person was arrested. There were four weapons at the scene, surely he was not killed by one person," he said.

Setlopo secondary school principal Peter Mpiwa said Sedibe, who was in grade 7, was an outspoken boy.

"He was talkative and participated in many activities. We were expecting a lot from him and it was just unfortunate how he died. He was a bright child," Mpiwa said.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.