23 Eastern Cape initiates confirmed to be dead

Johannesburg- The June and December holiday seasons are a difficult period for the Eastern Cape province as some families lose their boys through the initiation process.

According to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, this December is no different as the Department confirmed that at least 23 initiates have died in this period.

This follows the most recent incident that happened in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, where a 19-year-old was struck by lightning and died.

According to a report released by the Police spokesperson, Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana, three initiates occupied one hut when the incident happened earlier this week.

“The body of a 19-year-old initiate that was allegedly struck by lightning. The other initiate, a 17-year-old, was seriously injured. The third initiate, age unknown, was left unharmed,” Kinana said.

He further added that an inquest was opened for investigation.

In a statement issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in the province, the MEC for the department, Xolile Nqatha has developed a programme that will enforce the installation of law and order on Initiation Customs to prevent further deaths of initiates.

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