Duo arrested for deaths at initiation school in North West

Two men have been arrested following the deaths of two boys at a North West initiation school last year.

The men were due to appear in the Lehurutshe magistrate’s court on Monday for murder.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said the police arrested the duo at Ntsweletsoku village on Friday.

Human remains found

This comes after a multidisciplinary team comprising detectives from Ngaka Modiri Molema district, Lehurutshe, Motswedi and Zeerust, and visible policing including the Zeerust K9, followed up on two males who were reported missing in Motswedi and Lehurutshe police stations in December.

“During the course of the investigations, the police found what appeared to be human bones in a plastic in the bushes near Mosweu village,” Mokgwabone said.

“Further investigation into the matter led to the arrest of the accused, who were apparently in charge of the initiation school where the boys allegedly died.”

He said the police were not able to rule out chances that the suspects may be linked to other cases including contravention of the Customary Initiation Act, 2021.

North West provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Sello Kwena praised the officers involved in the operation for their efforts to unmask and arrest the culprits.

More initiates die

Last month, the department of traditional affairs in the Eastern Cape revealed that at least 30 initiates lost their lives during the summer initiation season.

In July 2023, police shut down an illegal initiation school that was operating illegally outside Kutupu village in Sekhukhune, Limpopo.

No injuries or fatalities were reported from the initiation school and a decision was made to move the initiates to a registered school.


The people believed to be in charge of the school were served with a notice to appear in the Nebo magistrate’s court for contravening the Initiation Act.

The police in Mahikeng and Lehurutshe in North West also arrested three men for operating an illegal initiation school in July.

The  police managed to rescue about 40 initiates between the ages of 15 and 20

The illegal schools were closed and the boys were taken to a local hospital where they were treated.

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