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Last modified: 19 Oct 2017
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Kouga prepares for male circumcision season

18 October 2017
Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders Mzwethemba Nkantsu (front centre) holds hands with traditional surgeon and Chairperson of Buyambo, a committee of traditional surgeons and nurses, Xolile Kato (front left) and Kouga Public Participation Officer Fumanekile Lloyd. With them are Monde Fulani (back left) of the Department of Health and traditional surgeon Mike Brown.

Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders Mzwethemba Nkantsu (front centre) holds hands with traditional surgeon and Chairperson of Buyambo, a committee of traditional surgeons and nurses, Xolile Kato (front left) and Kouga Public Participation Officer Fumanekile Lloyd. With them are Monde Fulani (back left) of the Department of Health and traditional surgeon Mike Brown.

Summer is the traditional male circumcision season and Kouga roleplayers are gearing up to help ensure the safety of this year’s participants.

Kouga Speaker Horatio Hendricks, under whose office the Local Initiation Forum falls, said a team from the Department of Health was currently visiting high schools in the region to talk to prospective initiates.

In-service training for traditional surgeons and nurses was also held earlier in the week.

“The custom is a rite of passage from being a boy to manhood for some sections of the society, especially among the Xhosa people. It has, however, become marred by controversy due to instances of ill-treatment of initiates resulting in serious injuries and even death,” he said.

“To curb this scourge, the provincial government introduced the Eastern Cape Customary Male Initiation Practice Act No 5 of 2016, signed into law by Premier Phumulo Masualle in December last year.”

He said the school visits would be followed by community meetings, taking place between 24 October and 21 November, where the Circumcision Government Gazette will be presented.

There will then be inspections of initiation schools by the teams on 22 November.

Hendricks said he was pleased with the efforts being made by stakeholders to achieve a successful and incident-free season.

“Our area has been relatively quiet in terms of circumcision-related injuries and we haven’t had any deaths over the years.

“That doesn’t mean we can afford to leave anything to chance. We have to comply with the provisions of the law and preserve the lives of our children," said Hendricks.

The community meetings will start at 6pm on the following dates:

  • KwaNomzamo Community Hall on 24 October 2017
  • Vusumzi Landu Hall on 25 October 2017
  • Katrien Felix Community Hall (Thornhill) on 16 November 2017
  • Dan Sandi Community Hall (Patensie) on 17 November 2017
  • Sea Vista Community Hall on 21 November 2017.