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EC records a minimum of 12 initiation deaths so far

At least 12 initiates have died since the beginning of initiation season this December.

FILE: A file picture shows young boys from the Xhosa tribe attending a traditional initiation school in Libode in the Eastern Cape Province. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Eastern Cape Health Department says it’s concerned about the escalating number of deaths in the province’s initiation schools.

At least 12 initiates have died since the beginning of initiation season this December.

The province is known for the highest record of deaths annually and the operation of illegal initiation schools in the country.

The department is appealing to all members of the public to ensure that they prevent more deaths.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says the government has also put efforts in place to prevent more deaths.

“As of Friday we had a number of those boys who died siting at 12. But I must say, not all those boys died as a result of botched circumcision; we had one boy who was reportedly assaulted.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)