DY­ING TO BE A MAN

CityPress - - Front Page -

I t’s been another bloody sea­son for young men un­der­go­ing the rite of pas­sage to man­hood. At last count, 32 young men had lost their lives and about 278 were in­jured be­cause of botched cir­cum­ci­sion pro­ce­dures. The ma­jor­ity of deaths and in­juries have oc­curred in the Eastern Cape, mostly at illegal ini­ti­a­tion schools. Deputy Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Min­is­ter Obed Bapela vis­ited res­cue cen­tres, hos­pi­tals and am­ab­homa (ini­ti­a­tion schools) around the province. He has de­scribed the deaths and in­juries as a ‘loom­ing na­tional cri­sis’, say­ing gov­ern­ment is los­ing the bat­tle to en­sure zero ini­ti­a­tion deaths due to the mush­room­ing of illegal ini­ti­a­tion schools.

‘Since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, we are los­ing an ini­ti­ate ev­ery day,’ a dis­heart­ened Bapela told City Press last week.

But amid the gloom, many schools in the Eastern Cape are still per­form­ing the rite of pas­sage the way it should be done.

PHOTOS: LEON SADIKI

FRONT LINE Ini­ti­ates dressed only in blan­kets at a school in Siphaqeni vil­lage in Flagstaff, Eastern Cape, dance and sing ini­ti­a­tion songs dur­ing a re­cent visit by Deputy Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Min­is­ter Obed Bapela Deputy Co­op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs Min­is­ter

Obed Bapela

BOYS TO MEN A num­ber of teens have lost their lives and about 150 have been in­jured be­cause of botched cir­cum­ci­sion pro­ce­dures, mostly at illegal ini­ti­a­tion schools

UN­DER SCRU­TINY The Hawks in the Eastern Cape have re­port­edly been re­quested to probe the deaths of ini­ti­ates in the province

GOLDEN VAL­LEY Ini­ti­ates next to their tents, known as ib­homa, at an ini­ti­a­tion school on the rolling moun­tains of Siphaqeni vil­lage in Flagstaff, Eastern Cape

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.