DAILY DISPATCH, East London, South Africa, June 16, 2008.

Dead initiate’s surgeon sought

2008/06/16 By MALUNGELO BOOI Mthatha Bureau

POLICE are investigating a case of murder following the death of a 13-year-old initiate at a Port St Johns circumcision school this week.

Police spokesperson, Inspector Phumzile Njombela, said Lwandiso Msitho of Caguba village died at the initiation school on Tuesday.

He said Msitho had been circumcised by a traditional surgeon at Lusikisiki without his parents’ consent and that they were hunting down the bogus surgeon who circumcised the underage boy without following proper procedures.

Njombela said boys over the age of 16, but younger than 18 must have their parents’ permission before they can take part in such a ritual.

“We are also searching for his nurses to see whether they too cannot be charged as they did not report this (the boy being underage) to authorities,” said Njombela.

He said postmortem results had not yet been released, but Msitho’s body was covered with fresh beating marks at the time of his death.

Attempts to speak to the Msitho’s parents were unsuccessful, but Njombela said the parents claimed they had never consented . On Thursday morning, a 16-year-old initiate from Slovo Park died, while a another 17-year-old died at Highbury in Mthatha. In both cases inquest dockets have been opened. No arrests have been made


(File revised 21 June 2008)