NEWS 24, South Africa, Thursday 18 December 2004.

3 die at circumcision school

18/12/2003 06:11 - (SA)

Queenstown - Three candidate initiates died and 18 were admitted to the Frontier and Hewu hospitals due to injuries sustained at circumcision schools around the Eastern Cape, police reported on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Captain Gcinikaya Taleni said Thamsanqa Mnyaka, 19, of Whittlesea, died on Friday on his way to Hewu Hospital. Mnyaka had complained of cramps.

Myolisi Mayekiso, 18, also of Whittlesea, died after complaining of weakness at the school.

Andile Masabalala, 21, of Tsomo, died on Monday.

A matron at the Frontier Hospital's surgical ward, who did not want to be named said Masabalala died of dehydration and anaemia while in the casualty ward and while staff were trying to resuscitate him.

The matron said six other initiates were admitted last week.

Some had gangrene, but none was in a serious condition. They would be discharged immediately once fully recovered.

Taleni said they were waiting for postmortem results before continuing investigations.

Documents brought to police suggested that proper procedures were followed during the circumcision, he said.

Hewu Hospital manager Monwabisi Mgulwa said 12 initiates were admitted last week with septicaemia, but none was in a serious condition.

(File created 18 December 2003)