Initiates death toll now at 11

THE DEATH toll in the Eastern Cape winter circumcision season has risen to 11, according to the provincial health department.

THE DEATH toll in the Eastern Cape winter circumcision season has risen to 11, according to the provincial health department.

The latest victim was a boy from the Mbizana area. He died on the way to hospital yesterday, spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

He said all 11 would-be initiates had been attending illegal circumcision schools.

All the deaths, bar one at Bhisho, had occurred in the Transkei.

Kupelo said he was concerned that the cold fronts sweeping Eastern Cape would mean even more fatalities as the circumcision season got into full swing.

"Some of the parents don't even know where their children are," he said. "They haven't been able to equip them with things like blankets."

Kupelo said the most common causes of death among initiates were septicaemia from botched cutting and dehydration because of ill-treatment by traditional nurses who refused the youths water.

"It's high time that everybody stands up to put a stop to this," Kupelo said. - Sapa

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