Initiate dies in CHDM
Boys must have water, be properly monitored
An initiate has died in Who-Can-Tell village near Whittlesea at the onset of the season.
Professional nurse Siboleke Ntobana confirmed the death while speaking at the Men’s Health Services launch in Mlungisi on Friday.
“The problem we are experiencing is that young men come to the clinic for pre-circumcision medical tests without their parents. They get people from the streets to sign their papers on their behalf.”
He urged mothers to be cautious as the majority of boys were raised by single mothers with absent father figures.
According to the law, women have to sign on behalf of the boys.
The initiate is believed to have died from dehydration.
“The law states very clearly that the initiates should be given water. Some of them go two weeks without drinking water. Mothers should ensure that they give the boys sufficient water even before they go to the mountain.”
Chris Hani District Municipality speaker Mxolisi Koyo said, “As the district we say one death is one too many and through cooperation these unfortunate incidents can be avoided. We urge families to get more involved and work with all relevant stakeholders to curb the deaths.”
CHDM communications officer Lonwabo Kowa said the matter had been reported to the CHDM Initiation Forum.
Kowa said, “The main issues observed by the forum thus far include non-co-operation from families who tend to leave everything in the hands of traditional nurses and other young men in their neighbourhood.”
He said the Customary Male Initiation Practice Act empowered all key roleplayers to work together to protect life and prevent injury.
“A collaboration with all parties involved is critical and parents also play an essential role in this regard. Initiates are still denied water in some areas. The Initiation Forum is currently tackling these issues.”