Initiation Watch

June 18, 2019

Winter initiation starts ... and the young suffer and die

As winter circumcision starts, parents, traditional leaders and officials are calling for crackdown on surgeons targeting underage boys.
January 14, 2019

Mondli Makhanya: Killing for culture – initiation deaths almost 100% avoidable

In just six weeks at the end of last year, 34 boys died in initiation schools around the country, 20 of whom were in the Eastern Cape, where the tradition is most strictly practised.
January 13, 2019

R8000 fine for bogus traditional surgeon convicted of circumcising underage boy

An illegal traditional surgeon has been found guilty of circumcising an underage boy.
June 12, 2018

Eastern Cape ‘evasive’ about number of initiation deaths

Deputy minister Obed Bapela has criticised the Eastern Cape for not divulging statistics pertaining to initiation deaths in the province.
June 28, 2018

Delight vs shock: Producers, traditional leaders respond to Inxeba ruling

The controversial, award-winning gay Xhosa initiation film Inxeba (The Wound) today won its case against the Film and Publications Board appeal tribunal who had reclassified the film as pornographic with a X18SNLVP rating.
July 8, 2018

Initiate deaths rise again

The winter initiation season isn’t over yet, but 15 boys have already died during the ceremony.
November 25, 2018

3 initiates die just days into initiation season

Barely a week into the Eastern Cape’s summer initiation season and three initiates have already died.
December 2, 2018

Initiation death toll climbs to 7

A traditional surgeon is on the run and another was arrested this week for allegedly illegally circumcising underage boys in Lusikisiki.
December 16, 2018

Declare ‘disaster’, say traditional leaders as 21 initiates lose their lives

Traditional leaders and government are calling for a disaster to be declared and investigations into initiate deaths after 17 youngsters lost their lives during the Eastern Cape’s summer initiation season.
December 23, 2018

Politicians step in to end ‘reckless’ initiate deaths

Eastern Cape leaders have called on stakeholders to join hands to avoid making initiation a death sentence.
December 16, 2016

Trollip’s initiation school visit ‘undermined our culture’

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro mayor Athol Trollip has caused an outcry for visiting initiation schools in Uitenhage and Motherwell where he addressed initiates.
December 13, 2016

Initiate death toll hits 12

Last week, Eastern Cape Health MEC Dr Pumza Dyantyi said 10 initiates had died since the summer initiation season began on ­November 18.
November 20, 2016

Initiation season starts

Eastern Cape’s department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs and the province’s House of Traditional Leaders launched the summer initiation season in Queenstown on Friday.
November 29, 2016

Law gets tougher over initiation

Those responsible for the death of boys in initiation schools across the Eastern Cape will finally face the full might of the law – and a possible 25 years in jail.
November 28, 2016

Initiation: ‘MaChicken’ is unrepentant

Despite doing jail time for causing harm to countless initiates, ‘MaChicken’ still circumcises boys as young as 10.
November 20, 2016

‘My penis fell off'

After seven days of torture at an illegal initiation school in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, Khaya’s* penis had to be amputated.
November 20, 2016

Maimed for life

Initiation season in the Eastern Cape starts on Friday, City Press and its partners have launched an online tool to help keep initiates safe. Two initiates told Lubabalo Ngcukana how their lives were shattered after what was supposed to have been a spiritual path to manhood
June 22, 2015

Initiation: Boys regret ‘stupid mistake’

Unathi* (15) was so eager to “be a man” that he sneaked off to get circumcised without his parents knowing.
July 12, 2015

Initiation: They sang while my son was beaten to death

Cinga Maphetshane was beaten to death while his friends sang.
July 24, 2016

Manhood for the youngest Mantashe

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe celebrated the safe return of his son Kamva from the initiation school in his village of Lower Cala, Eastern Cape, along with hundreds of villagers, family and friends.
June 2, 2016

Parents who send kids to illegal initiation schools are criminals – chief

As the winter initiation season gets under way, Nkosi Sipho Mahlangu is determined to ensure the safety of the young men who attend initiation schools, and has said that parents who send their children to illegal initiation schools should be held liable.
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September 15 2019