Teen initiates rescued in E Cape

2010-05-23 20:13

Johannesburg - Twenty-five Eastern Cape initiates have been rescued and taken to hospital on Sunday after they were illegally circumcised, the provincial health department said.

"They were circumcised yesterday (Saturday) and on preliminary examination, it was clear that they needed to see a doctor," said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

The boys, aged between 12 and 15, were taken from Nkanga Village in Libode to St Barnabas Hospital on Sunday afternoon.

The traditional surgeon who illegally circumcised the boys, Ndonda Mtshayina, had been arrested several times for the offence.

He was first given a suspended sentence of three years by an Eastern Cape court but continued with the practice.

"He spent the whole of 2008 in jail after a second sentence was imposed on him. He was banned from practising but he still continued," said Kupelo.

He said the boys' parents would have to take the matter to the police for him to be arrested.

"Sometimes these illegal surgeons get away with murder because parents tend to stop attending court proceedings once their children are healed.

"This is really a concern for us because we spend a lot of government funds on these boys when all this can be avoided."

Kupelo said the department spent about R1 000 a day for each boy in hospital, money he said should be used for other matters.

The department would soon send a delegation to the king of Western Pondoland to discuss Mtshayina.

"He is a problem," said Kupelo.