Efforts to curb death of initiates in EC yield no positive outcomes

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Efforts to curb the death of initiates during the traditional rite of passage for Xhosa males in the Eastern Cape continue to yield no positive outcomes. This summer season is bleak already. The latest available information shows that 23 people have died since the start of the summer initiation season in the province.

Two shocking shooting incidents have made this current season even worse. Two initiates and their brother were shot dead in Butterworth two weeks ago and last week an initiate was shot dead in Gqeberha.

“We did a lot of campaigns with traditional leaders. I think we need families to stand up. We can stop this thing if all families take full responsibility,” says Oscar Mabuyane, Eastern Cape Premier.

A number of initiatives and laws are in place to protect the initiates.

Stakeholders continue to call for a proactive approach to reduce the death toll.

“We have done everything  in the preparation  for initiation  with our partners. We have gone to areas talking to parents doing awareness’s even to would be initiates in terms of advising them and making an emphasis that drinking of water is Important,” says Mpumalanga Gwadiso, Chair: Eastern Cape House of Traditional leaders.

To date, 69 people have also been arrested in connection with the unlawful practise of the custom.

The department of Cooperative Governance and traditional affairs is also continuing to monitor initiation schools.