MPs to meet with EC traditional leaders following more initiation deaths

An oversight visit by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs committee has been informed of the deaths of eight initiates. This has been since 17 June in two local municipalities in the province.

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

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament are on Wednesday meeting with traditional leaders in the wake of more initiation deaths in the Eastern Cape.

An oversight visit by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs committee has been informed of the deaths of eight initiates.

This has been since 17 June in two local municipalities in the province.

The committee is visiting the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality as part of its oversight function.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs committee chairperson Fikile Xasa said that they were briefed about initiation problems in a number of areas including the deaths of young initiates.

The committee was also informed of 66 confirmed legal initiation schools and 68 illegal initiation schools in the OR Tambo District.

"The picture that emerged there is that unfortunately, we have lost eight boys already," Xasa said.

Xasa said that the cause of the deaths isn’t clear as yet: "Reasons given to us are not clear as yet. They talk about short breath, one 19-year-old boy who passed on. And generally, septicaemia as earlier indicated."

He said that several arrests had been made and expected illegal initiation schools to be closed.