The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has redirected the blame to parents, after news broke out that, since the start of winter, there have been three initiation school deaths.
As reported by EWN, the traditional leaders body was forced to retract a statement that was released last week, celebrating zero fatalities at the beginning of the initiation season, a Xhosa tradition that has been practised across the country for thousands of years.
How many initiation school deaths recorded in 2018?
Contralesa’s chief, Mwela Nonkonyana, indicated that the blame should not lay in the hands of the traditional leaders body, but should, instead, fall on the hands of the parents.
He revealed that these irresponsible parents have, for a long time, neglected following the appropriate and legal route to conducting the initiation.
Instead, in most instances, the deaths are a result of the parents sending their children to illegal initiation schools.
In 2018 alone, there were 34 reported initiation school deaths, 23 of which occurred in the Eastern Cape.
Why is Contralesa blaming the parents?
According to Nonkonyana, policing the initiation tradition in an area as vast as the Eastern Cape is difficult. :
“Parents are negligent; in fact, they’re being coerced by their children to go to these illegal circumcision schools. Therefore, we need a provision to make sure that parents themselves must be held liable.” Nonkonyana revealed.
Moreover, the chief noted that if it were not for the existence of such shoddy schools, there would be no death to report in the first place.
“So far, we’ve got three deaths and all those three are all from illegal initiation schools. They didn’t even follow the traditional and legal route,” he said.
Nonkonyana urged law enforcement to consider laying criminal charges against the parents too, for knowingly placing their children in danger in taking them to these illegal schools.