Death toll rises as Eastern Cape initiation season claims more lives

Initiates are seen smeared with white clay on their faces, covered in red and white blankets, during a initiation ritual

Eastern Cape chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders, Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana, has called for the intensification of monitoring interventions, including more resources for police, following the death of another seven initiates.A traditional nurse in Nqamakwe also died with his initiate when the hut they were in caught fire.

The death has brought the number of initiates’ deaths to eight, just halfway through the summer circumcision season.A further 13 initiates were rescued in Mbizana and are housed in a rescue centre in the Mbizana municipality. This means 34 initiates have been rescued since the beginning of the circumcision season.

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