Three initiates were shot dead in the early morning of Tuesday, December 5, at an Eastern Cape initiation school in Ngqamakwe, South Africa.
The killing of three initiates has caused an uproar in South Africa as residents termed the incident as a very rare one.
Their deaths were confirmed by the Eastern Cape Health Department that disclosed that the victims were aged 19, 20 and 22 years.
Provincial spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo in an interview with News24 said forensic investigators have visited the crime scene and investigations are ongoing.
“The department can confirm a shooting incident that has left three initiates dead at an initiation school in Ngqamakwe,” said Kupelo.
He added that police have launched a manhunt in pursuit of the criminals involved but so far, no suspect has been arrested in connection to the killing of the initiates.
At the same time, Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson, Mamkeli Ngam said the government was working closely with the police in gathering facts about the tragic incident before releasing a full report to the media.
“What has happened is a very serious concern to the department, however, we are still in the process of gathering all the relevant information and facts surrounding this unfortunate incident, ” said Ngam.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional and Khoisan Leaders Nkosi Mpumalanga has urged families of the victims to remain calm as investigations continue.
The incident occurred at a time when most families were taking young boys to initiation schools in the country for the rite of passage that signifies transition to adulthood.
This is because most families prefer taking boys to initiation schools for circumcision after schools close for the December holidays.