Man flees ‘11 days of hell’

Published Jun 29, 2011


A 23-year-old man fled from an initiation school at Mdantsane, East London after he was circumcised against his will, the Dispatch Online reported on Wednesday.

Sinethemba Gineto fled after what he described as “11 days of hell” from an initiation camp and stopping a traffic officer, who rushed him to hospital.

Gineto had waited for almost an hour on the side of Mdantsane Access Roadbefore a “Good Samaritan” traffic cop came to his rescue. He was currently recovering at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (CMH).

According to him, he had been visiting his mother in Mdantsane's NU1 on June 16 when a group of men, including an uncle, allegedly “forced” him to undergo initiation.

He had been visiting from Johannesburg, where he lives with his Shangaan father. His mother is Xhosa. “My mother's brother said I am a man now and this was what needed to be done,” he said.

“I told my family that I did not want to undergo initiation, but my mother thought it was a good idea,” he explained, insisting that procedure was not followed and he had not even registered with the Department of Health, nor had he undergone any required physical examination.

Gineto pretended to be going to the toilet and fled after almost two weeks of being at the camp.

Provincial Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said situations such as Gineto's were a “huge concern” at this time of the year.

He emphasised it was vital for all initiates and their families to follow the guidelines set out by the Department of Health.

“It is extremely important for potential initiates to undergo a pre-medical examination in order to determine whether or not they are fit to go to the mountain for a month.”

He said last week, 200 Bizana initiates were admitted to hospital due to allegedly botched circumcisions. - Sapa

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