Sixth Heidelberg initiate dies

Johannesburg - A sixth initiate from a school in the Ratanda, Heidelberg, area died on Monday, according to news reports.

Papa Mbovane (19) reportedly died of internal injuries at Heidelberg Hospital after he had been returned to an initiation school by his family on Wednesday last week. He had been removed from the school the day before.

Meanwhile, Gauteng police searched in vain for a missing initiate in Heidelberg on Monday.

Heidelberg detective services chief, Superintendent Roy Fry, said the eight-hour search was called off after it delivered nothing.

Police earlier feared that another initiate had died after a youth escaped from a camp on Sunday night and claimed he woke up next to a dead initiate.

The boy did not go along when the police went to the camp to investigate and has since disappeared.

Fry said a search-and-rescue dog squad and police divers backed up by a helicopter combed the area for hours on Monday before concluding there was no body.

Gauteng health spokesperson Simon Zwane said the department also visited the area on Monday, but could not find any new unregistered initiation schools.

Charges were also dropped against an initiation school teacher arrested last week.

(File prepared 04 July 2002)