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2 boys die at Centane initiation school

The deaths come just days after the department and the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders, as well as several NGOs launched an initiative to prevent initiation deaths.

FILE: A picture taken on 20 November 2009 of young boys from the Xhosa tribe attending a traditional initiation school in Libode in the Eastern Cape Province. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Two initiates have died in the Eastern Cape.

The boys died in the Centane area last weekend.

The provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department's Mamnkeli Ngam said: “The preliminary report we got says they died as a result of dehydration. The MEC is of the view that as a result of what has happened there, there needs to be some kind of accountability. Any person found to have been negligent must face the full might of the law.”

The deaths come just days after the department and the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders, as well as several NGOs launched an initiative to prevent initiation deaths.

Ngam added: “After our officials visited the area yesterday, a case was opened at the local police station to investigate everything that has happened.”

Nkosi Mwelo Nonkonyana, chairman of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders, says initiates must not be denied help when the need arises.

“We are saddened and actually shocked that on the day we launched this summit and called for zero deaths of the initiates this happened.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)