S. Africa to act against circumcision school abuse

News  Alertnet. Thursday, 26 May 2005.

JOHANNESBURG, May 26 (Reuters) - South African police and traditional leaders say they will crack down on kidnappings, assaults and other abuses in circumcision schools during the next winter initiation season.

Every year thousands of youths leave their parents to spend days or weeks in the care of traditional leaders at an initiation school where they are circumcised, a rite of passage commonly referred to as going to the mountain.

Besides the injuries suffered by a minority every year through botched operations, others were forced to go against their will or were taken away to secret locations without their parents' knowledge or consent, police said on Thursday.

It is quite traumatic for a parent not knowing where a child is. These schools happen in winter time when conditions are very harsh, Gauteng Province Assistant Police Commissioner Colin Hendricks told reporters.

Police in Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and Soweto, were working with the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) to monitor initiation activities and prosecute anyone found to be acting illegally.

The end result is that more boys will be safe, he said.

Contralesa said it wanted to impose a minimum age of 18 for boys to enter circumcision school.

It is quite clear that there are people who are hell-bent on making financial gains out of this cultural practice, who charge exorbitant prices to circumcise an initiate and leave them with no guidance, Manene Tabane, provincial Contralesa secretary, told a joint news conference with the police.

They kidnap these minors and they are demanding an exorbitant price upon releasing the boy.

More than 6,000 boys in Eastern Cape Province, where circumcision is most prevalent, have been admitted to hospital since 1995. More than 30 died and and 70 needed to have their genitals amputated after circumcision-related complications or infections, an Eastern Cape official said earlier this year.


Back to News 2005 Back to the News 2005 page.

The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages are a not-for-profit educational resource and library. IntactiWiki hosts this website but is not responsible for the content of this site. CIRP makes documents available without charge, for informational purposes only. The contents of this site are not intended to replace the professional medical or legal advice of a licensed practitioner.

Top  © CIRP.org 1996-2024 | Filetree | Please visit our sponsor and host: External link IntactiWiki.