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Surgeons convicted as initiation law takes effect

Publish date: 13 November 2017
Issue Number: 751
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

The new Eastern Cape law bringing safety and sanctity to the traditional male initiation ritual has already resulted in nine traditional surgeons being convicted, says a Daily Dispatch report. The Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders and stakeholders expressed happiness at the flurry of prosecutions since June this year under the Customary Male Initiation Practice Act. The National Prosecuting Authority’s Advocate Vuyani Genu and the police last week each tabled reports which revealed that the police had opened 68 cases. Prosecutors had dealt with 60 of them, and a number had resulted in guilty judgments and sentences. Other cases are still in the system. Genu outlined the most severe sanction – a 17-year prison sentence for Ngqeleni traditional surgeon Avuyile Mfitshi (25). He said that in August, the Mthatha Regional Court sent Mfitshi to jail for murder, attempted murder, and five unlawful circumcisions. Mfitshi had severely beaten five initiates for failing to pay him a R100 circumcision fee, one of them so badly that he died.

Full Daily Dispatch report (subscription needed)