July 7, 2013
5 held for botched circumcision deaths
Johannesburg - Police have arrested five people on suspicion of murder for botched circumcisions, which led to the deaths of about 30 boys in the Eastern Cape, a police spokesperson said on Monday.
Police were also investigating suspected assault, gross bodily harm and unlawful circumcisions that left 300 others injured across the province over the last week, police spokeswoman Sibongile Soci said.
Deaths are mainly caused by blood loss or infection from circumcisions poorly performed by traditional practitioners.
The ANC called the deaths and injuries "tragic" and said the government must act immediately.
"Authorities can no longer pay lip service to dealing with this disaster that afflicts our nation during the traditional initiation season," it said in a statement.
In May, more than 20 youths died in Mpumalanga, prompting rare cross-party calls for reform of the initiation practise.