oa De Rebus - How does the law protect initiates and their rite of passage? : feature



In South Africa initiates annually go to initiation school. Teenagers are the most vulnerable to initiation. In this article, I scrutinise if the registered or unregistered traditional surgeons of the circumcision schools, who are illequipped to conduct initiation and the subsequent death of initiates could, in principle, be criminally liable or alternatively be charged with common law murder; culpable homicide or assault. I will look into the issue of determining culpability and constitutional perspective as benchmark of the initiate's rights, and lastly, I will make a determination on the legal effects of death as the result of negligent conduct of the traditional surgeons. Since there is no codified law in our jurisprudence, I make recommendation for enactment legislation to curb this unfortunate trend.


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