Eleven SA Circumcision Initiates Die This Winter

The South African deputy Minister of Traditional Affairs, Obed Bapela has condemned the death of initiates at initiation schools across the country.

Since the start of the winter initiation season, the death toll has risen to 11 – with seven deaths recorded in the Eastern Cape, one in the Western Cape and three in Mpumalanga. 

Bapela says parents and legal guardians have to play a central role in ensuring that young men are psychologically and physically fit to undergo initiation.  

Bapela has also called for the prosecution of owners of illegal initiation schools. 

In 2010, 419 young men died during initiation. This dropped to just over 100 last year after measures were agreed upon with traditional leaders. 

Bapela urged traditional surgeons to work with health department services to avoid deaths, some of which were caused by dehydration and septic shock. 

These surgeons should be appropriately trained and registered. 

He adds the men should get a medical check-up and receive proper after care two weeks after their initiation. Additional reporting by SAPA