IOL News, Wednesday, June 28, 2006.

Boy may lose penis after botched circumcision

Another circumcision initiate has died in Libode in the Eastern Cape, bringing the tally to eight in two weeks since the start of the winter initiation season, the provincial health department said on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the boy was found dead at an initiation school at Sbangweni village in Libode just after 2am on Wednesday morning.

The exact cause of death was not yet known.

He said the boys often die of infection, gangrene or sepsis. He said the boys steal chickens from villages (to pay the "surgeons") and go to these schools, where they stand in a queue to be circumcised.

"Our worry, is that apart from dying, there is a high possibility that the boys would end up contracting HIV," said Kupelo.

On Monday, another boy died following a botched circumcision. Another boy, from Ngqeleni near Mthatha, faces possible amputation.

"These boys are dying but are not supposed to die," said Kupelo, urging the community not to wait until the eleventh hour before reporting suspicious practices.

He said seven illegal surgeons have been arrested. Two were released due to a technicality, but could possibly be recharged.

One of the two was being sought in connection with the death of the Port Shepstone boy, said Kupelo. - Sapa

(File created 1 July 2006)