Cousins succumb to septic wounds

2010-06-27 12:33

Cousins Xolile Mdingwa-Ngobe and Wezile Ngobe died of botched

circumcisions within 24 hours of each other after two weeks at an initiation

school in Lambasi village, Lusikisiki.

Mdingwa-Ngobe (26) was a carpentry, plumbing and bricklaying

student at Ingwe FET College in Lusikisiki, while Ngobe (27) was unemployed.

Their mothers are sisters.

Mourners at Mdingwa-Ngobe’s funeral in Mgungudlovu on Saturday

described him as quiet and peaceful.

Mdingwa-Ngobe’s aunt had bought a colourful blanket for his

graduation ceremony. At the ­funeral, the blanket was placed next to his


Distraught uncle Welcome Ngobe said he only found out about

Wezile’s initiation from young men in his village.

“Mdingwa-Ngobe told an ­uncle on his father’s side, but Wezile

never told anyone,” he said. Wezile was buried at his maternal home in Lambasi

on Thursday.

He was only taken to the St Elizabeth Hospital on June 16 ­after

his cousin Mdingwa-Ngobe’s death that morning.

Wezile died the following morning at the hospital.

“Their wounds became ­septic,” Welcome said.

Their traditional nurses, ­despite seeing that the men had been

improperly circumcised by an ingcibi known only as Bhabholomhlehlo, kept them in

their hut until it was too late to save their lives.

The other 10 initiates in

their hut were all admitted to St ­Elizabeth Hospital with botched


Welcome wants government to declare the situation a disaster and to

step in to assist the ­families of dead initiates.

“We’ve had to take out loans for their funerals,” Welcome


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