EASTERN PROVINCE HERALD, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Thursday 1 August 1996: Page 8.


UMTATA - A traditional circumcision surgeon, Siyavuya Mbalo, 37,
alias "Vo" appeared briefly in a Lusikisiki magistrate's court
yesterday on charges related to the death of initiates in the bush.

    He was charged with two counts of murder.

    Mr Mbalo was not asked to plead and no evidence was led. Her was
not defended. The trial was postponed to August 8 and he was granted
bail of R1 000.

    Police have reported that five "abakwetha" died and about 60
suffered organ mutilations with eight of them having to undergo
genital amputations.

    Mr Mbalo was arrested on Monday night.

    Kokstad regional health director Chauke Tyekela said 62 initiates
had been admitted to St Elizabeth Hospital in Lusikisiki in the
first two weeks of July.

    A further 23 initiates have been admitted to the Mary Theresa
Hospital in Mount Frere and five to St Patrick's Hospital in Bizana. -


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

(File revised 21 December 2003)