South Africa: Eastern Cape On Summer Initiation Season

Traditional initiation monitoring teams saving lives

The Eastern Cape Province enters the third week of the summer initiation season with its Traditional Initiation Monitoring Teams firmly on the ground throughout the Province. The monitoring teams are mitigating risks during this period to ensure the safe passage of abakhwetha to manhood.

So far the monitoring teams have visited more than 5 000 abakhwetha in both legal and illegal amabhoma in the Province. Those abakhwetha in illegal amabhoma have been integrated to the legal ones and discharged the necessary medical attention.

The teams observed the following challenges during the visits;

Dehydration due to non-provision of water.


Boys who circumcise themselves, and

Illegal circumcisions.

So far the Province mourns the death of abakhwetha from the following areas;

1 x death in OR Tambo in the KSD area on 29 November 2016. The department still awaits more details in this regard.

2 x deaths in Chris Hani District Municipality in Enoch Mgijima in Ilinge on 01 December 2016 and another one in Intsikayethu on 03 December 2016. The death in Intsikayethu happened in a legal initiation school in Hage Location in Tsomo. A case has been opened in the local police station.

2 x deaths in Alfred Nzo District Municipality in Mbizana on 3 December 2016 in an illegal ibhuma.

1 x death in Xhorha last night from a legal school. Details will follow by today.

The ages of the deceased range between 16 and 20 years of age. No amputations have been reported thus far.

No arrests have been made and the police are still making follow up on these cases. In Buffalo City Metro, however, one ingcibi has been arrested for illegal circumcision after parents reported the matter to the local police station. Three other ingcibi are still at large.

The department sends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and their relatives for the loss of their loved ones.

COGTA and the House of Traditional Leaders calls on parents, families and communities, once again to remain vigilant during this period by visiting the initiation schools timeously to guard against drug abuse, assault and ill-treatment of abakhwetha.

In the same vein, parents should also use the services of registered iingcibi and amakhankatha to promote legal schools and ensure the safety of abakhwetha.

The department applauds the work of the monitoring teams including traditional leaders and the SAPS for being proactive to save lives.

#sibafuna bephila, #zero initiation deaths, putting #safety first

Source: Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

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