4 traditional surgeons arrested after 2 circumcision deaths

Two boys died while undergoing the rite of passage in Mthatha and Libode this week.

FILE: Boys who have undergone a circumcision ceremony walk in the Eastern Cape. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Eastern Cape police have arrested four traditional surgeons for allegedly running illegal initiation schools in that province.

At the same time, two boys died while undergoing the rite of passage in Mthatha and Libode this week.

The arrests come after the provincial government's monitoring teams shut down a number of unregistered schools.

Eastern Cape Traditional Affairs spokesperson Mamnkeli Ngam.

"One of them is a notorious traditional surgeon who has served jail time for illegal circumcision cases, and one traditional surgeon has been arrested in Bisho. All of them are facing charges of illegal circumcision."

Ngam says they will continue to go after the illegal schools.

"In the Libode area alone, about 84 initiates were circumcised illegally. They have been rescued and have [received] some medical attention."