Eleven initiates have died in the Eastern Cape since the beginning of the December summer initiation season, Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane said on Tuesday.
They died due to a variety of complications that are not associated with Covid-19, he added.
Mabuyane was speaking in Bhisho on Tuesday during this year’s first provincial press briefing on Covid-19.
He said healthcare teams had tested 4 878 initiates for Covid-19, with 239 testing positive across the province.
“The restrictions under alert Level 3 meant the closure of the traditional circumcision season in our province. We agreed with our traditional leaders that the December season is closed and what remains is to bring home safe all the boys that have undergone the rite of passage to manhood.
“Our monitoring teams are working with traditional leaders to monitor all the boys that have undergone the rite. When they come home, there will be no festivities because that could lead to new infections,”
Mabuyane added all those who tested positive were placed under isolation measures.
“Sadly, we lost 11 initiates to a variety of complications that are not associated with Covid-19. We pass our deepest condolences to all these families.”
He said 22 initiates were admitted to different hospitals in the province due to botched circumcisions and dehydration.
Mabuyane added the deaths should have been prevented.
“This clearly means there is a lot that is wrong that requires the government’s attention in conjunction with traditional leaders and parents of initiates. We condemn any wrong behaviour taking place in the initiation schools. We say all men must show remorse and regret over deaths of 11 initiates.”
Meanwhile, three initiates were found dead with bullet wounds to their upper bodies inside a hut at a Tsomo initiation school on Saturday.
The police have launched a manhunt for the suspects.
Three murder cases have been opened.
In other news – They asked for s.e.x before giving me job – Isithembiso actress Dineo opens up on her painful experience in the industry
Actress Dineo Rabotapi found herself in a dire situation when Mzansi Magic pulled the plug on Isithembiso last year.
Dineo, who played the role of Zoleka, said this was made worse by the fact that the country went into lockdown soon thereafter. “Things were obviously not easy for many of us. Learn More