A joint operation centre has been set up to guard over the safety of Xhosa boys attending initiation school in the Eastern Cape. This follows the rise in deaths of boys at initiation schools.

Nine have died while 13 have been rescued at illegal initiation schools across the province.

This is only the second week since the start of the summer initiation period in the province.

“The issue is that these boys are in unlawful initiation schools, unlawful Amabhoma. The issue is lack of monitoring by parents to ensure that they get water where there is a need. So at the forum, we are supporting them and we are also calling on other forums to do the same thing on an ongoing basis. Do assessment operation activities so that they are able to identify the weaknesses and strengthening areas where there is a need,” says Cogta spokesperson Mankeli Ngam who adds that the schools will be monitored.

Provincial police spokesperson, Thembinkosi Kinana, has sent a warning to people who do not obey initiation laws.

“We are sending a very strong warning to all those that disregarding this law. They are going to face the might of the law, already we have made an example about many of them, the parent and some of ‘incibis’ (traditional surgeon) in the areas of Libode and East London area.”