Initiation School Sees 13 Deaths

13 fatalities have occurred at an initiation school in Eastern Cape. Parents and guardians are concerned with how the government will prevent this from happening again in the future.

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After 13 fatalities occur in Eastern Cape initiation school, parent become concerned about the safety of their children and how the government will be preventing this in the future. 

Initiation school is a cultural school that is attended by young men and women, where they are taught the values, principles, hardships, respect and accountability within their cultural tradition. It is a right of passage that marks acceptance or entrance into a group or society, for many cultures it is the entrance to adulthood. 

In Eastern Cape, the 13 fatalities occurred in December and the committee raised the concerns during an engagement with the Department of Traditional Affairs and the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL) on Tuesday.

Though Eastern Cape had a risk-adjusted plan in place that was meant to prevent fatalities, it did not help their case. The committee noted that the fatalities were due to dehydration and possible fighting, despite the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and the NHTL’s undertaking to put safety measures in place.

The committee has requested a comprehensive report regarding the fatalities, Committee chairperson, Faith Muthambi said:

The report should include, among other things, the number of initiates that were discharged with injuries and support given to the bereaved families. The committee should be provided with a report on consequence management in order to make sure that there is accountability on the matter.

The committee believes that initiation schools in the Eastern Cape require a serious intervention, and that the Provincial Monitoring Team need to come and brief them about the 13 fatalities that happened in December. 

Muthambi said:

We will therefore be continuously engaging all the relevant stakeholders as to be kept abreast of developments in the implementation of this important statute.

The chairperson emphasised that Parliament’s role does not stop with the conclusion of the legislative process, but continues in respect of monitoring and oversight, making a similar occurrence does not happen

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