Parents, traditional practitioners urged to help curb initiates deaths

Earlier this year, the CRL commission revealed an estimated 251 young male initiates had died in eight of the nine provinces between 2014 and 2016.

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

JOHANNESBURG - As the summer initiation period begins, the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has urged traditional practitioners and parents to help prevent the deaths of initiates.

The department has called for a zero-tolerance approach across the country as it expects the number of initiates to increase when the academic year officially ends.

Earlier this year, the Commission for The Promotion and Protection of The Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CLR) revealed an estimated 251 young male initiates had died in eight of the nine provinces between 2014 and 2016.

Cogta’s Legadima Leso says they hope to prevent more deaths in 2017.

“We are urging parents, caregivers and communities in general, to ensure that they prepare young initiates who are going into this process so that we can stop these senseless deaths that we have seen in the past.”