Circumcision deaths probed

The Eastern Cape health department is investigating the death of two more youths at initiation schools in the province, spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said yesterday.

The Eastern Cape health department is investigating the death of two more youths at initiation schools in the province, spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said yesterday.

They bring the total number of circumcision-related deaths during this summer's initiation season to four.

Kupelo said both deaths occurred in eastern Pondoland, one last week and the other on Tuesday morning.

Kupelo also announced that the department had approved plans to appoint full-time officials to deal with circumcision issues. The posts, which up to now had been filled on a temporary basis, would be funded in next year's budget.

Kupelo said it had emerged that reports that the parents were responsible for the November 27 death of an 18-year-old youth at an initiation school in Mdantsane were incorrect.

It had been discovered that the men running the school had refused to accept diabetes medication for the boy.

Kupelo said people should immediately contact the department in such cases so that it could intervene.

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