Circumcision death trials begin in Mpumalanga

2014-09-24 11:19

Four men accused of circumcision-related deaths in Mpumalanga have appeared in the KwaMhlanga Magistrates’ Court, and more people will stand trial in the weeks to come.

The National Prosecuting Authority has announced that it will prosecute 23 people in connection with the deaths of young men in the province.

Traditional surgeons Philemon Mtsweni and Makata Maleka appeared on culpable homicide charges yesterday.

On Monday, medical doctor Bobby Masango and traditional surgeon Kleinboy Mudau appeared in the same court on separate charges of culpable homicide.

These cases were postponed to next year. The accused have not been asked to plead yet.

An initiation school owner, a medical doctor and two traditional surgeons will appear in the same court tomorrow and Friday.

Next month will see a traditional surgeon who falsely claimed he was a qualified medical doctor, a school teacher who doubles as a pastor and four traditional surgeons appearing in the court.

The 24 deaths from the ingoma – a Ndebele ritual of initiating boys into manhood – happened at initiation schools at Kwaggafontein, KwaMhlanga, Verena, Delmas, Siyabuswa, Belfast and Middelburg.

Ndebele boys attend the two-month ingoma ritual every fourth year. It involves teachings about manhood and circumcision performed by traditional surgeons.

The Mpumalanga health department found that the boys died from hypothermia, haemorrhaging and “unnatural causes”.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said it took months to investigate these cases. The boys died during the circumcision season in May last year.

“There is progress, finally. We know people have been expecting us to act quickly but we had to wait for postmortem results and the director of public prosecutions to make a decision on each and every case,” Mohlala said.

The National Prosecuting Authority reported that four medical doctors, 18 traditional surgeons and one circumcision school principal would stand trial for 24 counts of culpable homicide, two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and 12 counts of contravening section 12 (8) or 9 of the Children’s Act.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.