11-year-old dies after botched circumcision

News  Daily Mail and Guardian (South Africa). Thursday, 16 August 2001.

Dumisane Lubisi

AN 11-YEAR-old boy became yet another victim of a botched circumcision in the Northern Province when he died just hours after being admitted to hospital on Sunday.

Sipho Mathe of Cork Trust village in Bushbuckridge was admitted to Mapulaneng Hospital on Sunday afternoon after being circumcised at an initiation school several days earlier.

Calcutta police representative Inspector Thulane Maphanga said the boy was in pain for several days, but was only rushed to hospital on Sunday when his condition deteriorated.

He is one of nine boys who have died at initiation schools in the province this winter.

Inspector Maphanga said no arrests had been made yet as police were still questioning the owner of the initiation school, the person who circumcised Mathe and the doctor who examined him.

A provincial circumcision indaba was cancelled at the last minute last Tuesday when traditional leaders and healers boycotted the event, saying they had not been properly consulted and that the event would divulge the secrets of circumcision rites.

The conference was meant to devise stricter safety standards at circumcision schools.

Thousands of boys attend the schools each winter to be circumcised as part of their passage into manhood. - African Eye News Service

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