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.”

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