MEC concerned by circumcision deaths

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iol news pic initiation generic Independent Newspapers Limpopo has crafted a bill that will see illegal circumcision school operators face a R20 000 fine or a jail term. File photo: Independent Newspapers

Eastern Cape - The number of deaths at circumcision schools in the Eastern Cape is rising, traditional affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said on Tuesday.

“It has come to our attention that at least 20 young men died in a number of our schools within a short space of time,” Qoboshiyane said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The fact that many young boys are circumcised without consent and knowledge of their parents creates a fertile ground for deaths, amputations and (the) hospitalisation of initiates.”

The MEC called on men in rural communities to help single women find reliable and legitimate circumcision schools for their children.

“This is an important aspect of our life that must not be left to chancers who want to make money out of youngsters. We need to restore the dignity of traditional circumcisions, so as to build responsible and healthy young men in our province.”

The circumcision death toll in the province was not provided.

In December, hospitals in Mthatha were inundated with young men injured from botched circumcisions.

The health department's spokesman Sizwe Kupelo at the time said the All Saints hospital in Engcobo had admitted 33 initiates, and had to arrange referrals for their injured friends as the wards were full. - Sapa


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