Since 1995, over 1 100 initiates have died in the Eastern Cape alone. This is according to statistics by the Urology Department at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha.
While the House of Traditional leaders called for the custom of initiation to be banned during the summer season and CRL Commission suspending initiation in four regions in the Eastern Cape, elders in Mqanduli have called for the custom to be done by those who have extensive experience only. These elders say initiation schools have become slaughter-houses after they were turned into money-making scam.
During this time of the year, families prepare for the homecoming of initiates, while some prepare for the burial of deceased boys due to botched circumcision.
An alarming 25 initiates have died in the Eastern Cape during this summer initiation season.