IOL.COM, South Africa, Sunday, 2 December 2007.

Traditional surgeon, nurse arrested

A traditional surgeon and a nurse were arrested on Sunday after a youth died during an illegal circumcision, the Eastern Cape department of health said.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said a 22-year-old traditional surgeon and a 25-year-old nurse were arrested and are been held at the Libode police station in connection with the death.

They are expected to appear in the Libode magistrate's court on Monday.

An 18-year-old youth died at an illegal initiation school in Gxulu Village, Umtata, and six others are in hospital.

Kupelo said: "At this stage we do not know if the boy died from complications during the circumcision or through natural causes."

According to the Department to Health the law states that all initiates should go for pre-examinations at hospitals before an initiation.

"Some of these boys are already sick and do not go for these examinations. Due to this they have complications and some of them die," he said.

Health officials have been deployed in the area to find these initiation schools and spread awareness.

Kupelo said 60 health officials have already been deployed to find these illegal initiation schools.

Another traditional surgeon was arrested on Thursday for conduction illegal circumcisions.

"Ten underage boys also escaped from an initiation school when health official arrived," he said.

The department of health, the house of traditional leaders together with the police are embarking on a week long monitoring campaign in the Eastern cape. - Sapa

(File created 3 December 2007)