Plan to eradicate initiation deaths

Johannesburg - A “radical” plan will be introduced to curb deaths at initiation schools in South Africa, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa) said on Wednesday.

Contralesa would unveil a systematic “death-free plan” which would be in line with its August 2013 declaration of zero deaths at initiation schools.

Experts have decried traditional circumcision practices. File picture: Siegfreid Modola. Credit: Reuters

“The plan forms part of the radical steps that are urgently needed to end the avoidable deaths and mutilations that accompany the ritual of traditional initiation of young boys into manhood,” Contralesa president Kgoshi Setlamorago Thobejane said in a statement.

The aim was to restore the ritual to its traditional values and ensure that young men were educated about values, human rights, family responsibilities, respect, and confront societal ills.

Contralesa could not continue to be part of cultural practices that killed people.

“The new systematic death-free plan is not aimed at reducing deaths but totally bring to an end the deaths of our initiates. Death-free initiation schools is non-negotiable,” said Thobejane. - Sapa