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EC Traditional Affairs seeks to bolster initiation monitoring

At least 18 boys have died during the initiation season, with most of the deaths attributed to dehydration.

Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Eastern Cape Traditional Affairs Department has vowed to improve its initiation monitoring efforts following the deaths of 18 young boys this season.

Most of the deaths have been attributed to dehydration but there have also been reports of a suspected drug overdose.

Eastern Cape Traditional Affairs spokesperson Mamnkeli Ngam says,”As of January 2017, we’re going to regroup under the umbrella of Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders to tackle what has happened in the summer initiation season and improve our intervention strategy going forward.”

Four deaths were reported in the Western Cape, which has not recorded related fatalities in two years.

Provincial Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever says the province provides support to initiation schools.

“We try to provide a safe environment for them to offer circumcision to the boys. However, we’ve seen now with three confirmed deaths that something did go wrong somewhere and all that will be revealed after the investigation."

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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