File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency/ANA.

Port Elizabeth - The death toll in Eastern Cape this initiation season has risen to 15 following the death of a teenage boy at Matatiele in the Alfred Nzo district.

Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Department spokesman Mamkeli Ngam said the 17-year-old initiate who was at an illegal school died on Monday after vomiting a green substance during his first two days. 

No one was informed about the boy's condition until it was too late. 

This is the fourth death reported in Alfred Nzo district, after Buffalo City municipality reported the deaths of three initiates in Amalinda, Mdantsane and King Williams Town earlier this month.

In Mdantsane an 18-year old initiate had an asthma attack while in Amalinda another 18-year old initiate died after a traditional house he was inside caught fire, Ngam said. In King Williams Town, a 19-year old initiate died after his circumcision wound became septic.

Two deaths were reported at Chris Hani in Enoch Mgijima. An 18-year-old boy died after experiencing hallucinations and dehydration.

Last week in the Joe Gqabi district in Barkley East, an 18-year-old initiate died after suffering a swollen scrotum. Ngam said the teenager's uncle rejected suggestions that he be admitted in hospital.

African News Agency/ANA