THE STAR, South Africa, Thursday, 23 October 2003: Page 5.

Jail after botched circumcision

By Madoda Dyonana

A traditional surgeon has been jailed for carrying out a botched and unauthorised circumcision.

Eastern Cape Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said yesterday Mphathiseni Mduka (23) was found guilty of circumcising an 18-year-old youth although he was not registered with the Health Department and did not have the permission of the youth's parents.

The circumcision was botched, so the youth had to be taken to hospital and re-circumcised.

Mduka was sentenced in the Engcobo Magistrate's Court to 12 months' imprisonment or a fine of R2 000. Sapa reported that he was unable to pay the fine and will remain behind bars.

Eastern Cape Health MEC Dr Bevan Goqwana said: "The sentencing of Mduka sends a clear message that the government will not tolerate any contravention of the circumcision act in the province."

Kupelo said it was the first conviction since the passing two years ago of the Application of Health Standards in Traditional Circumcision Act.

Mduka was one of nine traditional surgeons arrested in June after 21 initiates died and 16 had to undergo amputations as a result of botched circumcisions, said Kupelo.

The 18-year-old youth had been admitted to All Saints Hospital in Engcobo after complaining about a severe headache.

"This initiate was observed as mentally disturbed and was an incomplete-circumcision case," Kupelo said.

(File prepared 24 October 2003)