Outrage over circumcision without permission

2018-09-19 06:00

“NO one has a right to perform medical operations on a child without the mother’s or guardian’s consent.”

These are the words of the furious aunt of a nine-year-old boy from Eastwood who was taken out of school for circumcision without his parent’s permission.

The aunt, who cannot be named to protect the identity of child, told Echo that she lives with her nephew because his mother is working in Johannesburg.

She said the grade three boy had the medical procedure through the circumcision contract set up by the school and the local doctor, who is subcontracted by Newstart.

“I got a shock last Tuesday when I received the news that the child had been circumcised. Three ladies, who identified themselves as the local doctor’s recruiters, delivered the news [at my home] on the same day that the incident occurred.

“On August 30, the child came back [from school] with a consent form stating that they will be going for circumcision at school. I told him that I will not sign the form because I do not want him to go under this process because of cultural reasons — since he is a Xhosa.

“He needs to go to the mountain with other Xhosa clans where they perform a process called Ukwaluka.

“I did not even [return] the form, I kept it with me because I did not want him to go.

“Last Tuesday, when the child got home from school, I sent him to the local tuck-shop to buy something for me. I was waiting for him to come back when I heard people knocking at the gate and it was three ladies (the recruiters from the doctor).They asked me to come out of the house so that we can talk. They told me that the child has been circumcised by mistake and that they were sorry.

“At first I thought they were joking. I asked them how they could circumcise the child without my consent and they did not give me an answer.

They kept on saying that it was mistake, that they did not know how he got into the room where the circumcision was being done,” she said.

She said that when she asked the child what had happened, the child told her that one of the recruiters signed a consent form for him so that he could get into a taxi that was taking them from school to the doctor.

The boy’s aunt said she wants answers and she wants both the school and the doctor to take full responsibility for the incident.

“They forged my signature so that they could take [the] child. I went to the school last Wednesday because I wanted to know how they could allow people to take the child outside the school premises after I refused to sign the consent form.

“I also wanted to meet with the doctor who [performed] the [procedure].

“He promised that he was coming to school, but he never pitched.

“Instead, he sent his secretary who told me that the child got circumcised by mistake. When I asked her about the consent form, she told me that she noticed that the parent’s information was missing but still the child got circumcised.

“I want them all to pay for what they did. The child is traumatised, he is in pain and has not been to school since the incident.

“We are not going to take this lying down, someone has to pay for it. I have even opened a case against them at the Mountain Rise Police Station­.”

KZN Department of Health spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said that even though the preliminary evidence shows that none of the people involved are in its employ, the department has instituted an inquiry into this matter.

“The department will take the necessary disciplinary action if any persons involved are found guilty,” she said.

Mountain Rise Police Spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim confirmed that a case of unlawful circumcision of a male child under the 16 years, under the Children’s Act, has been opened.

They forged my signature so that they could take [the] child.

I went to the school last Wednesday because I wanted to know how they could allow people to take the child outside the school premises after I refused to sign the consent form.

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