The Eastern Cape Health Department says dire conditions, suicide, asthma, kidney failure, dehydration, and infected wounds were the main causes of 15 deaths at initiation schools across the province in December.
Provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo is quoted in News24 as saying that 12 of the deaths were reported earlier in December. Three more were reported in the week before Christmas.
Kupelo said a 15-year-old boy had committed suicide at an initiation school in Port St Johns earlier this month. It appeared that a second boy, who died in the Alfred Nzo district municipality, had been murdered, he said. “He had bruises on his back and neck. He also had a nose bleed. It looked like he was murdered,” he said.
The other deaths were reported at initiation schools in Ngqeleni, Mthatha, Lusikisiki, Mbizana, King William’s Town, Elliotdale and Aliwal North. The report says Kupelo could not confirm how many men were at the initiation schools.News24 report