SUNDAY TIMES, Johannesburg, 22 June 2003.

New penis for youth after 'bush' disaster

A Motherwell youth is being prepared for reconstructive surgery after his penis was amputated after a botched traditional circumcision last June.

The 18-year-old man, who cannot be named, left for Cape Town to meet a doctor about the reconstructive surgery. The operation will cost R30,000 and is paid for by donors.

Doctor Mamisa Chabula, the doctor working with circumcision-related injuries, said she had raised the money from donors to help the young man undergo plastic reconstruction at a semi-private hospital in Cape Town.

She said the Grade 12 pupil went to the bush last winter. He had complications with the wound and gangrene resulted. He was taken to Livingstone Hospital [Port Elizabeth] where it was amputated from the base.

Chabula said after the youth came back from the circumcision school, he had to see a psychologist because of depression.

He was also rejected by society for "chickening out" at the bush and resorting to Western medicine. He is currently using a urine bag.

Chabula said reconstruction would also help rebuild the youth's self-esteem.

More than 40 initiates died from botched circumcisions and related infections across the Eastern Cape last June.

(File prepared 25 June 2003)