Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer in Mthatha, Mbuyiselo Madiba says the death toll of initiates between 1995 and 2019 in the Eastern Cape is shocking and alarming.
He says the death of more than 1 100 initiates within 24 years could have been prevented.
The province has registered 22 deaths this summer season.
Dr Madiba believes that his call for the temporary suspension of the ritual is a step in the right direction.
“For all these other years, we have been putting up plans, seminars, training people, doing all sorts of things. This is the time now why I made up these recommendations to say enough is enough now. Even if you are running and get tired, you stop and say let me gain my strength. So, I am saying here, let us stop and start open up some discussion without fighting over this issue, but to try and arm ourselves to protect our young ones. The initiates – they have the right to live,” says Madiba.