Sun Oct 23 05:37:28 SAST 2016

Initiation death toll at 23

By Sapa | Jul 04, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 8 ]

Twenty-three initiates have died since the start of the winter initiation season because of botched circumcisions and 104 others have been admitted to hospitals for related injuries, Deputy Traditional Affairs Minister Obed Bapela said on Thursday.

"It is saddening to report the increased number of initiates who have lost their lives to 23," he said in a statement.

"This is despite all the efforts we have made."

Nineteen of the deceased were from the Eastern Cape, three from Mpumalanga, and one from the Western Cape.

Bapela said the 104 others were admitted for dehydration, septic circumcision, gangrene, and other related injuries.

He sent his condolences to the affected families and said government condemned illegal circumcision schools.

"The rite of passage is not a licence for abuse of the initiates but a process that is ushering these young men to adulthood and a cultural practice that needs to be respected," said Bapela.

"The ministry of co-operative governance and traditional affairs continues to call on all members of the community to report any illegal initiation schools to the police."


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Although it is boy children who are dying in these intiation schools, it should be noted that they are still our children and they deserve government intervention. More should be done to secure these kids.

Jul 04, 2014 7:57 | 0 replies


Dear people of EC especially those who support and respect African tradition please do something about this illegal schools they are giving our culture a bad name.Other than the deaths I'm happy the way you stick to your forefathers culture. Keep it up!

Jul 04, 2014 8:27 | 0 replies


Initiation is a tradition but today is a business that is why at the end of the day innocent peoples die. GOVT must intervene and take control of the initiation. GOVT respect tradition.

Jul 04, 2014 8:47 | 0 replies


Only 23 ? until you start doing it in the hospital the no. will increase

Jul 04, 2014 9:23 | 1 replies


Good point, but they will tell you that it is not tradition to use a medical professional in a sanitary environment, by they wore khakis and tekkies when they leave iBhoma, as if it is traditional to wear khakis and tekkies.

Jul 04, 2014 12:6 | 0 replies


When i was growing up in rural areas SOME YEARS AGAO, this was practiced every year especially in winter for the boys, there was never any death as far as i can remember, i think they were people who knew what they were doing at the time. now them the boys are dying because of this so called culture, not that i don't respect it, but those people who used to do it right they are gone and the ones that are doing it now they are just killing machine, people must wake up and take their boys to hospital. full stop.

Jul 04, 2014 10:17 | 0 replies


di koma ke tsarena ba sotho, MaXhosa tlogelang daai ding

Jul 04, 2014 2:3 | 0 replies



Jul 07, 2014 7:30 | 0 replies