Action sought on initation deaths

2013-05-22 20:47

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Johannesburg - Opposition parties on Wednesday demanded inquiries and strong action from government after the deaths of initiates in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

The Democratic Alliance urged Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi to set up an in-depth probe into the 33 deaths.

"The commission of inquiry must investigate the causes of these deaths, as well as recommend remedial measures to prevent them from ever happening again... [so that] all guilty parties are held accountable," DA spokesman George Boinamo said in a statement.

The Congress of the People demanded more action.

"There is an urgent need... to prevent more deaths across the country during the current initiation school period," said Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the African National Congress said it was disappointed to see investigations into the deaths of 27 Mpumalanga initiates were seemingly not prioritised.

"The ANC is very disappointed that ever since the first pronouncement of deaths of our young men... there does not seem to have been any urgency in investigating the circumstances that led to their death[s]," spokesperson Keith Khoza said.

The party supported the culture of initiating young men into manhood, but was worried they continued to undergo initiations while the causes of deaths had not been determined yet.

On Monday, Mpumalanga police said 27 boys had died in initiation schools in the past two weeks.

Spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi said 26 of the deaths were being investigated as murder cases and one remained an inquest.

Limpopo police spokesperson Ronel Otto confirmed there were six deaths in the province related to initiation schools.

Khoza said investigations into the matter would bring relief to the parents of the boys who died.

"We expect that those behind this cultural practice, including provincial governments and traditional leaders, will assure the public and the nation that [such deaths] will never recur," he said.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma said he was shocked and outraged by the deaths.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cope  |  mbombela  |  culture  |  politics  |  health

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