“A 19-year-old initiate has died in Burgersdorp and details are still sketchy at this stage,” spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam said in a statement.
The department was waiting for more details and the post-mortem report from the department of health.
The department’s monitoring teams had visited around 500 initiates so far, with most found to be in good condition.
In Nyandeni and Flagstaff, however, 44 initiates were rescued.
No arrests, amputations and hospital admissions have been reported by the monitoring teams so far.
“Some of the challenges include some traditional nurses refusing initiates drinking water, underage initiates, illegal schools, refusal in some areas like Nyandeni to refer initiates to places of safety hence support of the SAPS had to be requested.”