Surgeons on run after deaths

Two East London traditional surgeons are on the run after police and parents raided an illegal circumcision school in Scenery Park on the weekend.

Two East London traditional surgeons are on the run after their illegal initiation school was raided Picture: FILE

Twenty-seven boys were illegally circumcised, said the Eastern Cape’s health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.

The raid follows the fiery death of two initiates in Qumbu over the weekend after their initiation hut burned in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The death toll since the start of the winter initiation season launch last week is at four.

The illegal traditional surgeons had charged R750 per initiate.

Kupelo said yesterday that a group of 27 boys were illegally circumcised in the same area which resulted in a police investigation.

Kupelo said police‚ traditional leaders and health officials raided the initiation school on Sunday afternoon.

They were accompanied by some of the parents whose children had been circumcised without their consent.

According to the new laws regulating traditional initiation in the Eastern Cape, only boys aged 18 and above may legally undergo the rite.

“Police are now looking for at least four people or traditional nurses believed to have been responsible for the illegal circumcisions‚” said Kupelo.

“Experienced traditional nurses have since been appointed to take care of them after assessments found them to be in a good health condition and their surgical procedures were done properly‚” he added.

It is believed that the boys had been kept at the school since Friday.

Their parents have since opened cases with the police.

Kupelo was unable to say what the charges were.

He said that last week 11 illegal surgeons and traditional nurses were arrested in Libode and Ngqeleni.

Kupelo said to minimise the risk of death in the bush, the health department had set aside R13-million for hiring extra personnel, such as nurses, doctors and monitoring officials, who would be visiting initiation schools on a regular basis


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