The death toll among initiates in Eastern Cape has risen to six. This follows the passing of a 20 year old initiate in Mcambele in the O. R. Tambo District on Saturday morning. This is the first initiate to die in the region in this initiation season.

The details surrounding his death are still sketchy but the cause of death is suspected to be pneumonia.

Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam says they are working to avoid such deaths.

“The MEC for COGTA in the provinces wishes to send out his heart-felt condolences to the bereaved families and their relatives for the loss of their loved one. In the same context, the MEC wishes to appeal to Traditional Leaders, parents and members of the community at large to work hands in gloves with District Initiation Monitoring Team to ensure the safe passage of our boys to manhood. One death is one death, too many,”