IOL News, Saturday, July 1, 2006

Fifteen-year-old initiate dies

A 15-year-old boy died of "circumcision complications" in Flagstaff on Saturday, the Eastern Cape health department said.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the initiate's death was the 13th reported case since the beginning of the province's initiation season.

"This disturbing incident was discovered by officials who were dispatched to the mountains to monitor circumcision schools," he said.

"A lot of bogus traditional surgeons are killing the boys in the name of custom... they are making the custom a laughing stock."

'Bogus traditional surgeons'

Kupelo said police were still searching for the unlawful circumcision school's traditional surgeon and his nurses.

"Other boys are being assessed by officials to determine if they need medical treatment," he said.

In total, six bogus traditional surgeons are on the run and 16 have been arrested.

The latest arrest was made on Thursday after 21 malnourished boys were found hidden in the Ntabankulu mountain.

One of the boys, a 17-year-old who was still to be circumcised, was found dead.

"We are pleading with the so-called traditional surgeons to stop circumcising young boys without permission," Kupelo said. - Sapa

(File created 1 July 2006)