Eastern Cape chair 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, reports The Times.
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.
Provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs spokesperson Mamnkeli Ngam said they suspected the majority of deaths were caused by dehydration. Ngam said a provincial joint operations centre (JOC) has been activated to monitor, align resources and co-ordinate efforts of the district and metro monitoring teams during the summer traditional initiation season.
Eastern Cape Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha said in the report that the JOC would focus on non-compliance with the provisions of the Customary Initiation Practice Act of 2005 to mitigate risks that lead to unnecessary deaths and botched circumcision.The Times report