Unlicensedcircumcision schools in Limpopo will be prosecuted

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The house of traditional healers in Limpopo has vowed to take action against people who operate circumcision schools, known as koma, without licences.

The house will meet in Polokwane this week to discuss issues relating to koma schools in the province.

Provincial spokesman for the house Lucky Nchabeleng said representatives from the departments of Health and Social Development, Safety and Security, the house of traditional leaders and the premier's office would attend the meeting.

It will be the first of its kind .

Nchabeleng said it was common knowledge that only traditional healers were eligible to run komas.

"Traditional healers are the only people in our society who understand the culture and the tradition of koma schools. We have had many casualties at schools in recent years because knowledge about traditional issues at some of the schools was lacking. Any school that operates without permission from the house of traditional leaders will be prosecuted," he said.

Nchabeleng said members of the Limpopo house of traditional leaders intend to travel to every corner of the province to meet traditional healers who want to run circumcision schools.

Nchabeleng said in the past parents had had to pay exorbitant fees for the rite of passage to manhood, but parents would not be exploited again.

"We have realised with great concern that some school principals charge high prices to enrich themselves. We will not allow this to continue. Circumcision is a tradition and not a money-making racket," he said.

Nchabeleng said it was imperative that boys who enrol at koma schools first get their parents' permission .

Phuti Seloba, provincial spokesman for health and social development in Limpopo, said his department would be on hand to offer help to students who could not cope in the circumcision schools.