December 24, 2013
Thirty circumcision deaths so far in Eastern Capeby Andisiwe Makinana
Eastern Cape government revealed on Monday that 30 initiates died in the province since the start of the summer initiation season.
Now the provincial government is calling on the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prioritise the cases that have to do with the abuse and deaths of initiates at initiation schools.
On Monday, MECs of several departments – including those for local government, health, safety and liaison, social development, provincial police and members of Eastern Cape's house of traditional leaders – held an urgent meeting to discuss how to deal with the death of initiates in initiations schools in the province. [A commenter notes that they have been holding urgent meetings about this since 1996.]
"The emergency meeting, called to look at the deaths of the 30 initiates and come up with solutions to prevent further deaths and injuries, took both short term and long term decisions to curb deaths and injuries," reads a statement from the provincial government.
The emergency meeting called on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to move with speed in attending to the cases of 30 initiates who lost their lives during this season.
"The plan is [to have] proper investigations [into] what caused their deaths ... and those found to have acted illegally be prosecuted.
"We are disturbed by the fact that a number of initiates were beaten, physically abused and some burnt while at the initiation schools in the province," said the statement.
Last Thursday, Eastern Cape government announced that 104 initiates were rescued from illegal initiation school in municipalities across the province. At that time, 25 initiates were dead.
"Our interventions in these areas are beginning to bear positive results as we see the decreasing number of deaths during the 2013 summer season as compared with the 2013 winter season."
[This is nonsense. ~80 youths died in the 2013 winter season, but the number of deaths depends on the number circumcised and the climate, as well as many other random factors.]