Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize has met with traditional leaders from the Eastern Cape to discuss the deaths of initiates.

Mkhize says there is concern about the high number of deaths of initiates at the hands of bogus traditional surgeons.

The meeting also heard that the number of initiates tends to be higher during the summer initiation season.

Many of the deaths that occur were due to extreme heat and dehydration.

Mkhize says co-operation is crucial.

He says the meeting has been called as an emergency response to the rising number of initiates who died during the summer initiation season.

He says: “We believe that there are a number of stakeholders that need to be pulled together to apply their minds on the solutions needed.”

“This meeting is a sequel to a meeting that we had on the 27th of December that was initiated by the King of Amagcaleka who said they are worried about this.”

Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa says the province is working closely with the police to arrest the people who are responsible for the initiates deaths.

He says: “This time we have all agreed that we must enforce the law and as a result in all the cases we have reported, we are going through a process of what is called inquest and beyond that we want action.”