Radical Circumcision Bill Goes Before the People

News  East Cape News (Grahamstown). Saturday, 1 September 2001.

Sam Mkokeli

The Traditional Affairs standing committee will hold public hearings on the Traditional Circumcision bill throughout the Eastern Cape next week, the Legislature's assistant head of committees Oxley Ngqele said yesterday. (subs: fri)

The aim was to get oral and written submisions from the public. The bill seeks to establish hygenic standards during the rite and to regulate the operation of circumcision schools.

It also seeks to set a minimum age limit of 18 on initiates who must also undergo a pre-circumcision medical examination by a medical doctor. A medical certificate must also be issued afterwards.

The bill states that traditional surgeons should be known to the parents of the initiate and that they must use instruments approved by the parents.

In a bid to avoid the transmission of sexual diseases and Aids, the bill wants to ensure that an instrument used on one initiate must not be used to circumsice another. Traditional surgeons will also be compelled by law to use instruments supplied by a medical officer assigned to that area by the Health MEC.

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