Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
THE death of Jane Ngobeni's three brothers was finally explained when her first-born son was diagnosed with haemophilia more than 20 years ago.
"I was a little girl when my brothers died one after another after going to initiation school. It was painful for my family to accept because no one could explain what had happened to them," Ngobeni said.
Without the family knowing at the time the brothers suffered from haemophilia, a bleeding disorder that only affects males.
Ngobeni, 57, said her family was simply told that her brothers "could not stop bleeding" after being circumcised.
Her brothers did not receive medical attention but were treated by traditional healers, who could not stop the bleeding.
Ngobeni's son Mario, 24, was diagnosed with the disease when he was two years old. She was identified as a carrier.
Haemophilia is a rare inherited sex-linked bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency in one of the clotting factors in the blood. It affects males only, though women act as carriers, passing it on to their sons.
The blood of haemophiliacs lacks essential clotting factors that causes them to bleed for longer periods. This puts them at risk of internal bleeding, which could destroy joints, leading to disability. It can also be fatal if it occurs in the head.
Ngobeni said Mario would experience swelling, that at times lasted for weeks on some parts of his body after playing.
"Once he suffered a small cut above his eye. His pillow was soaked in blood when he woke up in the morning," Ngobeni said.
He was treated by a doctor who ran tests on him and his mother.
"It was only after the doctor told us about haemophilia that my brothers' deaths made sense. We also found that there was a history of the disease in the family. One of my daughters is also a carrier and my other grandson has been diagnosed."
Mario said he had to learn to live with the disease from an early age.
"I had to accept that I couldn't play contact sport such as soccer and rugby because of the risk of injury. I made up for it by swimming and playing pool.
"I have also learnt to be careful and avoid situations, stay calm, control my anger and not get into fights," Mario said.
The information technology student said he was under pressure from his community to join his peers at initiation school when he was a teenager.
"I was angered by the pressure from the community to go to the mountain to be circumcised. I was afraid that I would die in the same way as my uncles," Mario said.
Mario was eventually circumcised in hospital, where he could receive treatment for bleeding.
A haemophilia nurse at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Motlalepule Makale, advised parents not to take bleeding lightly.
"If a patient does not get treatment in time it could lead to disability," Makale said.
She said patients had to be treated with clotting factors immediately to stop the bleeding.