JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Health Department officials in South Africa said that 30 young men recently died and 300 were hospitalized as a result of botched circumcisions. The circumcisions were part of traditional initiation rites in a South African province whereby young males undergo passage into manhood.
Sizwe Kupelo, a spokesman from the provincial health department, said that 10 other young men were hospitalized after being rescued from the forest.
“The ten initiates’ private parts are rotten. They are badly damaged. Their condition is scary,” he said.
A further 293 young men were undergoing hospital treatment for dehydration, gangrene and septic wounds, Kupelo added. Some had lost their genitals.
As part of their initiation into manhood, young men from ethnic Xhosa, Sotho and Ndebele groups generally spend about a month in secluded bush or mountain areas and circumcisions are performed by traditional surgeons using instruments that have not always been sterilized, and with techniques that have not been mastered.
Botched circumcisions leading to penis amputations and deaths are an annual tragedy.
In other news, I just fainted.