Eastern Cape initiation death toll rises to 18

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 7, 2015

The Eastern Cape Department of Health has reported that the number of deaths in the province’s winter initiation season, increased to 18 over the weekend.

In a statement, department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the toll, which stood at 10 on Friday, increased to 14 on Saturday with next four involving two boys from Mdantsane, and one each from the Mthatha and Chris Hani areas.

On Saturday, Kupelo stated that the majority of fatalities (five) occurred in the Nyandeni area followed by Mhlonhlo (four) and one each from Qaukeni, Chris Hani, Amathole and Alfred Nzo.

Last week, the sudden admittance of 36 initiates at the St Barnabas Hospital in Libode resulted in a shortage of beds with some patients even being asked to leave.