EASTERN CAPE – The death toll among initiates in the Eastern Cape has continued to rise with 30 deaths reported so far. A further 80 other initiates were admitted to the hospital and the Ulwaluko summer season is only halfway through The shocking number of deaths led to Secretary-General of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, Zolani Mkiva calling for drastic action. He said that the high number of fatalities is unwarranted and unacceptable and all in the name of a ritual according to eNCA.
News24 reported that Premier Oscar Mabuyane called for an urgent indaba to find solutions to reduce the number of deaths. He said that 19 of the young men who died were being initiated at illegal initiation schools.
A large number of deaths are a result of dehydration after initiates are deprived of water by those caring for them. This is due to a false belief that those who drink water will not heal from their wounds quickly