31 May 2002.

Jail Sentences Possible for Illegal Circumcision School Operators

South African Press Association
May 31, 2002
Posted to the web June 1, 2002


People who operate circumcision schools in the Northern Province in contravention of regulations gazetted this week, could get a fine or prison sentence of up to five years.

Anyone who abducts a person to a circumcision school is guilty of an offence and can go to jail for up to 10 years, according to the regulations published in an extraordinary provincial gazette.

The premier published them in terms of the Circumcision Schools Act of 1996.

"No person below the age of sixteen can be admitted to a circumcision school," the regulations stipulate.

They also require parental consent for any initiate younger than 21 years.

In terms of the regulations anyone wishing to conduct a circumcision school, any traditional doctor who wants to perform operations at such a school or any traditional nurse wishing to treat initiates must apply for a permit from the provincial government.

No such permit will be granted without the applicant having completed training on the safe running of circumcision schools, as determined by the health MEC.

In their applications, organisers must submit, among others, a list of all initiates to be admitted to the school, proof of their ages and medical certificates for each of them stating that they are fit to undergo circumcision.

The premier may designate medical practitioners to inspect circumcision schools.

Traditional doctors' applications to perform operations must be accompanied by certificates from the inspectors that their surgical instruments are fit for the purpose and of sufficient quality.

No circumcision school's operations may run concurrently with the academic activities of schools or educational institutions, the regulations state.

(File prepared 2 June 2002)