Four brothers have taken painful revenge on a youth who allegedly illegally circumcised their under-age siblings, the Eastern Cape health department said on Thursday.

Spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the four not only stabbed the bogus traditional surgeon, but also re-circumcised him.

The “surgeon” was an 18-year-old who had himself undergone the initiation ritual only a few months ago, in the 2010 winter season.

Kupelo said the incident happened near Ngobozi villlage in the Libode area of Transkei.

The “surgeon” had circumcised the two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, without the consent of their parents, and in contravention of the province's circumcision law, which sets the minimum age at 18.

He said that on Wednesday the four brothers went to investigate, stabbed him and “recircumcised him in an apparent act of revenge”.

The teens and the “surgeon” were being treated at Mthatha General Hospital.

Police had arrested the four brothers, who were expected to face criminal charges.

In another incident this week, Kupelo said, an underage youth from the village of Kwambiza in the Ngqeleni district was illegally circumcised an 18-year-old from another village.

The chief of the youth's village had sent a delegation to the other village to demand a live cow as reparation.

There were also concerns over reports of illegal circumcision schools in the Gompo area west of East London, where boys as young as 11 were being circumcised.

Kupelo said the king of the Western Pondo, Ndamase Ndamase, would officially declare the opening of the summer circumcision season at a ceremony at Nyandeni Great Place in Libode on Thursday.

He said an agreement had been reached under which traditional leaders in the province would take the leading role in monitoring and inspecting circumcision schools.

The department of health would no longer conduct raids of illegal schools.

It would from now on just react to health-related calls in the same way it would react to a motor vehicle accident. - Sapa