Two Cape ini­ti­ates die, 5 in hos­pi­tal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - RE­BECCA JACK­MAN

TWO INI­TI­ATES aged 18 and 19 have died, and a fur­ther five have been hos­pi­talised, af­ter be­ing rushed to hos­pi­tal from an ini­ti­a­tion school just out­side Kaya­mandi, Stel­len­bosch, the pro­vin­cial Cul­tural Af­fairs and Sport Depart­ment has con­firmed.

The depart­ment has since ini­ti­ated dis­cus­sions with the Health Depart­ment, the Stel­len­bosch Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, lo­cal el­ders and the ini­ti­a­tion com­mit­tees re­spon­si­ble for the ini­ti­a­tion site, ac­cord­ing to Brent Wal­ters, depart­ment head.

Po­lice spokesman Colonel Tem­binkosi Ki­nana said the Cloetesville po­lice sta­tion near Kaya­mandi was alerted to prob­lems in­volv­ing three ini­ti­ates at 6.50pm on Mon­day. He said they had been “cir­cum­cised near Ida’s Val­ley dam”.

“The three were rushed to a nearby hos­pi­tal, where two of them died,” Ki­nana said, adding that the teenagers were from Nyanga and Gugulethu, and had caught a bus to Stel­len­bosch.

The one sur­vivor re­mained in hos­pi­tal.

Ki­nana said no ar­rests had been made.

Ki­nana had no in­for­ma­tion about a fur­ther four ini­ti­ates ap­par­ently also taken to hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to the pro­vin­cial Cul­tural Af­fairs and Sport Depart­ment.

Ver­non Bow­ers, a spokesman for the Stel­len­bosch Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, con­firmed the deaths of the two ini­ti­ates early this week.

“We can­not pro­vide any fur­ther de­tails un­til the next of kin have been in­formed of the of­fi­cial re­port,” he said, adding that he was saddened by the in­ci­dent.

Pro­vin­cial Health Depart­ment spokesman Mark van der Heever said the two deaths were re­ported to his of­fice on Tues­day. Au­top­sies were con­ducted on Thurs­day, and the re­sults would be made known to the po­lice so they could con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Wal­ters said the deaths were the first at Western Cape ini­ti­a­tion schools since the depart­ment started with pro­to­cols and guide­lines in Oc­to­ber last year.

The depart­ment had of­fi­cially con­firmed the deaths only yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Ev­ery­one would now join forces to work to­wards re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing man­age­ment team of the site and med­i­cally screen­ing the re­main­ing ini­ti­ates there, while con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor other sites, he said.

“De­spite all the train­ing and sup­port to make ini­ti­a­tions safer over the past few years, and in the run-up to the 2013 ini­ti­a­tion sea­son, we are now faced with the tragic news of the un­timely death of th­ese young men. We will con­tinue to pro­vide med­i­cal and lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port to all the recog­nised ini­ti­a­tion com­mit­tees in the prov­ince, and work with cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties to en­sure the safety of our ini­ti­ates,” Wal­ters added.

He said the prov­ince had built up a proud safety record over the past few years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.