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4 initiates die in EC

The death toll from the Eastern Cape initiation season has risen to 14 with four initiates dying this weekend.

FILE: Boys who have undergone a circumcision ceremony walk near Qunu in the Eastern Cape in 2013. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Eastern Cape Health Department says four initiates have died at initiation schools in the province raising the death toll to 14.

The boys were allegedly among a number of initiates admitted to hospital due to possible botched circumcisions.

Some are believed to be from illegal initiation schools.

The cultural practice has been marred by a spate of kidnappings.

On Friday, 22 boys were rescued from an illegal initiation school near Meadowlands in Soweto.

Police said the boys were kidnapped from Orange Farm and taken to a mine dump in the area.

While they have received medical attention the group will be moved to a resource centre to complete the initiation process.

Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa spokesperson Dakhile Ndamase said, "Both parents and children said there is pressure from communities that kids will be a laughing stock as they didn't complete initiation."

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