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Commission declares suspension of intiation schools in EC where deaths occurred

At least 21 boys have died in that province this season.

FILE: A Xhosa initiate stands during a traditional initiation process in a rural hut on 11 July 2017 in the Coffee Bay area in Umtata, South Africa. Picture: AFP

BRAAMFONTEIN - The CRL Rights Commission said that all schools in the Eastern Cape where initiates died this season must be shut down for a year.

This, it contended, should be effected until all compliance issues had been dealt with.

At least 21 boys have died in that province this season.

The commission said it had observed with dismay the deaths of initiates in the Eastern Cape and young men being robbed of their dignity.

Commission chair Professor David Mosoma: "The deaths of around 22 initiates are clearly a violation of the sanctity of human life."

Mosoma said that schools, where initiates had died, must be shut down immediately.

"CRL Rights Commission unequivocally declares a suspension of the initiate schools and practice for a year in all affected regions of the Eastern Cape."

The commission said that it would be working with several organs of state, including the NPA and the police, to ensure no more lives were lost.