Six initiation deaths last week - EC health department

By Drum Digital
29 June 2015

The Port St Johns boy had a septic penis and swollen knee, suggesting beatings.

A total of six people have died this week in connection with the current initiation season, the Eastern Cape health department said on Sunday.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, who earlier on Sunday had confirmed four deaths, said the number had risen, with five of the deaths taking place in the OR Tambo district and one in the Chris Hani district.

The two additional deaths saw an 18-year-old boy from Ngqeleni circumcised on June 13, and later dying on his way to hospital on Friday, with the cause of death presently unknown, though the boy presented with confusion and dyspnoea (laboured breathing). The boy would undergo forensic examination.

The second death was of a 22-year-old man, who was circumcised on June 20 and died on Saturday. The cause of death was unknown, with the man dying in Tslolo.

Earlier Kupelo said the four boys had been from the Port St Johns, Qumbu, Ngqeleni, all in the OR Tambo district, and Chris Hani.

" The 29-year-old initiate from Qumbu is suspected to have defaulted from his chronic medication but confirmation will be revealed on Monday after an autopsy," he said.

"Another boy is being treated at Mthatha Regional Hospital for a fractured arm and septic penis. At least one boy may lose his penis and has been referred to Nelson Mandela Regional Hospital."

On June 17, Kupelo said at least 10 Eastern Cape teenagers had to be hospitalised after botched circumcisions during their initiation rituals.

Source: News24

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