EC INITIATES RESCUED

ABOUT 25 initiates have been hospitalised in Eastern Cape after undergoing an illegal circumcision.

ABOUT 25 initiates have been hospitalised in Eastern Cape after undergoing an illegal circumcision.

Provincial health authorities took the initiates to hospital yesterday after realising that some would need medical attention, spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

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

The traditional surgeon, Ndonda Mtshayina, who allegedly circumcised the boys, had allegedly previously been arrested several times for similar offences.

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

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.

He said the department spent about R1000 a day on each initiate who was hospitalised and this was money that could be used for other matters. He said that the government wanted to meet local traditional leaders to discuss the problem - Sapa

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