ANCYL protests against initiates’ brutal abuse


The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the Eastern Cape on Thursday picketed outside the Ngqeleni Magistrate’s Court in support of the families of initiates, who died or were wounded during this winter's initiation period.

“Our support to the family of the deceased and the victims is precipitated by the fact that throughout seasons of the initiation, young people are the victims,” said ANCYL Eastern Cape Provincial Spokesperson, Ayongezwa Lungisa, in a statement.

The protest follows allegations that initiates from Mfundweni village, in Qhokama, in Ngqeleni, were brutally abused by their traditional surgeon and his assistants.

“As young people we feel violated by what young people go through, at the hands of people who, according to the ritual are supposed to care for and teach them,” Lungisa said.

The abuse resulted in the death of a 17-year-old initiate, Amahle Mhlekude, who died at Nelson Mandela Central Hospital in Mthatha, after sustaining severe head injuries from being beaten.

“We hope to be able to send a message to all those who are still abusing to an extent of killing the youth during the initiation that it’s not accepted and as such the society does not accept such. We ultimately hope to live in a society with 0% death rate of initiates,” added Lungisa.

The matter was heard at the court and was postponed to the 30th of July. Three nurses, reportedly responsible for the death of Mhlekude, will also appear at the court later this month.

“The ANCYL will further be present in the hearing with even more numbers than they were today,” he said.

This week, the Eastern Cape Department of Health confirmed the deaths of 29 initiates across the province while 133 remain in hospitals.

Image courtesy: ANCYL Eastern Cape via facebook page