Ini­ti­ates’ death toll up to 18 as two more die

Daily Dispatch - - NEWS -

five min­utes too late.

By the time Zuma drove into the court park­ing lot‚ the case against Duduzane had al­ready been post­poned to Au­gust 23.

His lawyer‚ ad­vo­cate Mike Hel­lens‚ told the court they hoped the cul­pa­ble homi­cide case would pro­ceed this year.

The other sep­a­rate case against Duduzane – which con­cerns his al­leged role in a Gupta fam­ily plot to cor­rupt for­mer deputy fi­nance min­is­ter Mce­bisi Jonas – has been post­poned un­til Jan­uary. who died were un­der­age, some as young as 14. They were il­le­gally cir­cum­cised.

Co­op­er­a­tive gover­nance and tra­di­tional af­fairs pro­vin­cial spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam called the deaths a shame on all stake­hold­ers.

He said par­ents also had to bear the brunt for not play­ing their role to en­sure the safety of their ini­ti­ates.

“The 17th death hap­pened in the OR Tambo. An 18-year-old ini­ti­ate iden­ti­fied as Zolani Bontshi of Makhotyana vil­lage in Li­bode died on July 7 at Mthatha Re­gional Hos­pi­tal.

“He was ad­mit­ted the day be­fore,’’ said Ngam.

He said the 18th youth to die was Osa Mbong­wana of Maqa­dini vil­lage in Ngqe­leni.

“The 17-year-old was cir­cum­cised on June 27 and died at Canz­ibe Hos­pi­tal in Ngqe­leni on July 11 from se­vere pneu­mo­nia and as­sault.

“He was one of the hun­dreds of il­le­gal cir­cum­ci­sions, most in Mpon­doland,’’ said Ngam.

He said there were 11 ini­ti­ates in the il­le­gal ini­ti­a­tion school where Mbong­wana had died.

Thir­teen of the ini­ti­ates died in the OR Tambo district (nine in Li­bode, three in Ngqe­leni and one in Port St Johns).

There were two deaths in Al­fred Nzo mu­nic­i­pal­ity, two in Buf­falo City Metro and one in Chris Hani mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“De­spite our ef­forts as stake­hold­ers, the deaths hap­pened nev­er­the­less. In the OR Tambo most deaths are in Nyan­deni,’’ said Ngam.

He listed fur­ther wrongs picked up dur­ing the win­ter ini­ti­a­tion sea­son, in­clud­ing:

The ar­rest of a tra­di­tional leader and his wife who were al­legedly fraud­u­lently is­su­ing fake doc­u­ments;

Po­lice of­fi­cers found is­su­ing il­le­gal af­fi­davits to al­low un­der­age boys to un­dergo the rite;

No­to­ri­ous tra­di­tional sur­geon Mt­shay­ina who is on the run in the hills; and

Some com­mu­ni­ties hid sick ini­ti­ates and pre­vented med­i­cal as­sis­tance.

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