Cogta commits to bring an end to initiation deaths

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pretoria - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Des Van Rooyen has committed to work with his department’s stakeholders to bring an end to initiation deaths.

He said his ministry will work with role players including parents, traditional leaders, the Health Department, South African Police Service (SAPS) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) during this winter initiation season.

Initiation season began on 24 April 2017, with many young men beginning this sacred cultural journey. With the winter school holidays about to begin, many potential initiates are expected to join the journey across the country.

Already, two initiates from KwaMhlanga and Gemsbokspruit in Mpumalanga province have passed on. Minister Van Rooyen expressed sadness that the two fatalities occurred right at the beginning of the 2017 winter initiation season, which he had hoped would be incident free.

He said leaders traditional leaders, working with other stakeholders, will leave no stone unturned to determine the cause of this fatalities.

Minister van Rooyen said understanding the cause of these two fatalities might assist to save the lives of many young men, who will be embarking on this sacred process countrywide.

Deputy Minister Obed Bapela called on communities to adopt a zero tolerance approach to initiation deaths.

“We therefore urge all communities and those leading the initiation schools to ensure that all initiates entering this sacred path are complying with all the stipulated requirements, have parental consent, underwent medical screening and ensure that initiation schools and traditional surgeons are registered”, said Deputy Minister Bapela.

The department has called on communities to report any wrong on 0800 111 166 or #InitiationDTA. - SAnews.gov.za

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