Cogta Eastern Cape expresses concern at summer initiation deaths

Cogta says most of the deaths were because of dehydration, septicaemia and one initiate allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself.

This file picture taken on 20 November 2008 shows young boys from the Xhosa tribe attending a traditional initiation school in Libode in the Eastern Cape province. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) has voiced its concern and disappointment at the summer imitation season death toll in the province.

Initiation deaths recorded in that province currently stands at 17.

Cogta says most of the deaths were because of dehydration, septicaemia and one initiate allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself.

Th department's Mamkeli Ngam said, “It’s disappointing and shocking to find out that we have 17 deaths.”

Ngam has lauded the work of monitoring teams who've assisted where problems have arisen.

“Many boys were rescued because the condition they were found in were such that they needed medical attention. More could have died.”

Just 10 days ago, the National Assembly passed the Customary Initiation Bill aimed at regulating initiation schools and reducing initiate deaths.