Four Eastern Cape circumcision deaths reported

2015-06-28 18:15
A Xhosa boy covered with a blanket and smeared with chalky mud, sits in a field as he and others undergo a traditional circumcision ceremony into manhood. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

A Xhosa boy covered with a blanket and smeared with chalky mud, sits in a field as he and others undergo a traditional circumcision ceremony into manhood. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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East London - Four initiates have died from circumcisions thus far this season, the Eastern Cape health department said on Sunday.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the four boys had been from the Port St Johns, Qumbu, Ngqeleni, and Chris Hani districts.

"The Port St Johns boy had a septic penis and swollen knee, suggesting beatings. The 29-year-old initiate from Qumbu is suspected to have defaulted from his chronic medication but confirmation will be revealed on Monday after an autopsy," he said.

"Another boy is being treated at Mthatha Regional Hospital for a fractured arm and septic penis. At least one boy may lose his penis and has been referred to Nelson Mandela Regional Hospital."

On June 17, Kupelo said at least 10 Eastern Cape teenagers had to be hospitalised after botched circumcisions during their initiation rituals.

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