About 125 boys have died of circumcision related illnesses since 2001

SABC News, South Africa, Monday, 11 November 2005.

Police searching for illegal circumcision surgeon

About 125 boys have died of circumcision related illnesses since 2001

November 14, 2005, 07:00

Police in East London are still searching for a young man in his twenties who has been accused of conducting illegal circumcisions on seven boys. This comes after Monwabisi Goqwana, the health MEC, and departmental officials got a tip off from the community and conducted a raid at initiation schools around Mdantsane over the weekend.

The initiation schools were empty when police and the health officials arrived. Apparently the initiates got a tip off about the impending raid and fled. The police dog unit was called in - and the boys were found. Most are under age and have no medical certificates nor permission from their parents as required by the law.

Siyabulela Mamkeli, the youth forum chairperson, said: "There were death threats to one of these guys who went to the bush, a revenge for something he did to a member of the community. They threatened to kill him, then he said he wanted to go to the hospital instead of him dying in the bush."

Medical examinations have revealed that the boys' situation is satisfactory.

About 125 boys have died of circumcision-related illnesses since 2001 when the Traditional Circumcision Act was implemented.


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