Police, NPA dispute initiation death responsibilities

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been accused of refusing to prosecute suspects linked to traditional initiation cases, resulting in illegal surgeons who may have killed initiates getting off scot-free. But a Daily Dispatch report says the NPA in the Eastern Cape has hit back, saying police should come up with dockets that had a reasonable chance in court.

The Bhisho legislature heard recently that both police and traditional leaders blame the NPA for the continuing deaths. This follows a crisis meeting aimed at averting further deaths in Mpondoland, where 12 initiates have died this season so far.

The provincial toll is 15 since day one, 12 June. NPA regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali asked for specific case examples of refusals to prosecute. “We do not charge and prosecute people willy nilly.”

Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders chair Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana called for a dedicated Initiation Court. He told the MPLs that due to prosecutors declining to act in a number of cases, police resolved to make no arrests but only take statements.

Daily Dispatch report (subscription needed)

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