Two more young initiates have died in Eastern Cape bringing the total this circumcision season to five.
Provincial Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the two initiates died at the weekend in Libode and Port St Johns.
Three other initiates died recently at Maclear, Qumbu and East London.
"Four of them died due to botched circumcisions," said Kupelo.
He said a postmortem had shown that a fifth initiate did not die due to circumcision-related complications, but was in fact murdered.
Kupelo was unable to say why or how the initiate was murdered. He did say initiates were actually assaulted in some areas.
Since the beginning of the traditional circumcision season, health officials and police had closed down numerous illegal initiation schools in the province.
Kupelo said 19 unregistered traditional surgeons, among them a 17-year-old traditional nurse, were arrested.
During the raids, a number of illegal circumcision schools in the former Transkei and Mdantsane had also been closed, he said.
"Some initiates were admitted to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha," he added.