EASTERN PROVINCE HERALD, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Wednesday, 31 July 1996: Page 2.


By Julian Rademeyer

POLICE have arrested a man in connection with the deaths of five
youths and the mutilation of nearly 60 others during initiation rites
in the Lusikisiki area.

    The 28-year-old man, who allegedly wore a balaclava and used the
alias "V10" when circumcising youths, is expected to appear in the
Lusikisiki Magistrate's Court today.

    A police spokesman said he was arrested on Monday night at his
home in Equbeni village.

    Three men are believed to have circumcised more than 300 youths
between June and July this year.

    The men apparently charged between R25 and R35 to do the

    The arrested suspect is alleged to have used old and unsterilised
instruments during the circumcisions.

    Last month, police reported that eight initiates had penile
amputations following botched circumcision operations.

    Fifty-eight others were admitted to hospital after wounds became

    A provincial task team is expected to release a White Paper later
this month in an effort to curb deaths, mutilations and unhygienic
conditions at initiation schools.


COMMENT: "Abakwetha" is Xhosa for "initiates", i.e. from after
circumcision till the re-emergence into society.

(File revised 22 December 2003)