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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Five unlicensed traditional surgeons arrested in Eastern Cape

Police in the Eastern Cape have been visiting initiation schools to check the credentials of traditional surgeons.

Police have arrested five unlicensed traditional surgeons in the Eastern Cape since the beginning of the month.

“The initiation schools are being visited, and all the traditional surgeons and nurses are expected to have permits to work, meaning they must be registered,” explained Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli.

“They were all charged for contravening the Customary Initiation Act 2 of 2021.” No injuries have yet been reported as a result of the intitiations conducted by these five, Nkohli said.

ALSO READ: MEC laments deaths, commends crackdown on illegal initiation schools

“All five men aged between 23 and 35 are still in custody. A total of eight criminal cases are being investigated thus far.

“In all eight districts, there are task teams comprising members from visible policing, detectives, and other stakeholders ranging from the Department of Health, Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and non-governmental organisations.

“The teams are visible in all the initiation schools and are monitoring compliance with the relevant prescripts and laws pertaining to traditional male circumcision.”

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene, said: “We are warning parents that these laws are also compelling them to be involved during the process of initiation. Non-compliance could lead to prosecution.”

Ensuring compliance

In July, an initiation school in Kutupu village was found to be in contravention of the Initiation Act and closed.

“It is reported that the school was discovered on Sunday, 25 June 2023 and through proper inspections, it was found that the school has not registered with department as per prescribed Act,” police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said at the time.

“One life is too many,” Limpopo MEC for cooperative governance, human settlements and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu said then, after revelations that three initiates lost their lives at the province’s initiation schools this year.

“With the decrease of the initiation schools, the province equally witnessed a decrease of the total initiates from 79 529 last year to 68 329 this year.”

ALSO READ: Police shutdown illegal initiation school in Limpopo

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