SACP on the rising deaths of initiates
4 July 2012
The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape Province is severely concerned by the rising deaths of young people (initiates) in the Eastern Cape initiation schools. It is with great sadness to note that twenty initiates have since died, four had penile amputations and 131 admitted to hospitals.
This challenge warrants all people of our province to unite and fight against malpractice of this old custom and those who are now turning our custom into a narrow business for their selfish interests. We cannot allow anyone to commodify our custom and objectify vulnerable young people in the process.
We are therefore calling upon people`s organizations, community forums, traditional leaders, law enforcement agencies, municipal officials and the Department of Health to work together in making sure that there is no more life lost in the name of custom. Our communities must identify and report to the authorities those who masquerade as legitimate surgeons and teachers in these initiation schools as they compromise the lives of young people of our province and the future of our country thereof.
The SACP strongly condemns the torching of two homesteads in Port St John`s because there were women who were assumed to have bewitched two initiates whom have recently passed on. This is an atrocious violation of human rights, we view women`s rights as an integral part of human rights. This is saddening as it also appears as high levels of patriarchy that; when men has failed to take care of initiates, women are then accused of witchcraft; when small boys are allowed to go to initiation schools and dies, women are accused of bewitching the young boys; when illegal surgeons and teachers practices in front of the people, women are accused of bewitching initiates.
We are calling upon people of the Port St John`s and other parts of the Eastern Cape to refrain from this stereotype behavior and commit to solidarity in combating this challenge. No person should be harmed due to unfounded and unscientific accusations. The people who deserve to be isolated in our communities and be taken to the law enforcement agencies when found putting the lives of our beloved children at risk are the bogus surgeons, teachers and initiation school owners.
Issued by the SACP Eastern Cape
For more information contact:
SACP Provincial Spokesperson