CAPE TIMES, Capetown, Wednesday, 5 July 2006.

Bush surgeon was killed with a spade - police

By Nwabisa Nofemele

In what is believed to be the first attack of its kind, a prominent traditional surgeon in Port Elizabeth has allegedly been hacked to death by a young man who claimed he had botched his circumcision.

The brutal murder took place on Monday night at the former initiate's home in Sherwood, allegedly while his parents were out.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested and will appear in court on Wednesday.

'My father went inside the house alone'

Police spokesperson Ernest Sigobe said on Tuesday that the suspect had been arrested in connection with the murder of Patrick Hoho, 58, of Veeplaas, who was hacked to death with a spade.

"The suspect was apparently angry about the way Hoho performed his circumcision in May," Sigobe said.

The suspect is believed to have come out of the bush last month.

Hoho's son, Lungisa, said the initiate had apparently been rejected by amakrwala (newly circumcised men), who said he was not "a real man".

Amakrwala undergo rigorous tests by their peers to ascertain if they have been circumcised in a traditional way that prohibits the use of Western medication and influence.

'I cannot believe that he has left us'

He said his father had received a phone call from the man around 8pm on Monday.

"He asked my father to come and see him at his home in Sherwood at 10pm. My father went, accompanied my mother and a friend, Norman Mattick.

"My father went inside the house alone."

Half an hour later, the suspect's brother, who was also circumcised by Hoho in May, allegedly came out and told Mattick to "come in and fetch Hoho's body from the house".

Circumcision activist Mamisa Chab ula-Nxiweni said she was shocked to learn about the murder.

"I cannot believe that he has left us. He was a very experienced traditional surgeon.

"This is definitely a loss of skill to our custom; there has never been anything like this before."

Solomzi Mphandana, a spokesperson for Ingwe Yehlathi, a PE traditional surgeons' association, said no complaint had been laid against Hoho since he joined the association in 2001.

(File created 6 July 2006)