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Parents must be more involved in traditional initiation: Xasa

JULY 8, 2015
Parents must be more involved in traditional initiation: Xasa

In light of the rising death toll in this year’s traditional initiation season, Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Fikile Xasa, on Wednesday challenged parents to get more involved in ensuring that their sons are safe.

Xasa was speaking at The New Age Business Briefing, which was hosted at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium under the theme, 'Back to Basics - serving our communities better'.

The briefing was also attended by Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle; Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, and Executive Mayor of the  Buffalo City Metro, Alfred Mtsi, among other dignitaries.

Over 20 initiates have lost their lives already this year - about 90% of the fatalities reported are from the Eastern Cape.

“As a province we are rating very high in the deaths of circumcision rituals, which is a huge concern to the government.

“We are concerned, as government, about initiation schools and the death toll,” Xasa said.

“Parents need to be also serious when it comes to initiation schools.”

There have been reports of some initiates being abducted from their homes and forced to join initiation schools.

“If your children get kidnapped for initiation, you must open a [police] case,” he said.

He also said that medical professionals were often allowed to be involved in the initiation schools.

“We also do interact with traditional leaders... These boys are not strong like us.”

Xasa was supported by Premier Masualle, who said that; “One death is too many and we don’t need such.”

The Premier also said that there was a safe route in initiation, which Department of Health has provided.