The knives are out for doctors in Buffalo City accused of cheating in the war against initiation deaths by issuing questionable health certificates to youths seeking to undergo the rite. Daily Dispatch reports that there has been an uproar in traditionalist circles with critics disputing that the unethical doctors even examined the youths, some of whom were underage.
Daily Dispatch reports that Buffalo City Metro (BCM) traditional initiation co-ordinator Kenneth Kodwa confirmed that the municipality was investigating doctors in Qonce, East London and Mdantsane. Kodwa said that should it turn out that a youth who was issued an unethical medical certificate die during the rite, then they would try to have the doctor criminally prosecuted for “manslaughter”.
Internal dissent is also brewing with some saying some rogue traditional practitioners were working with the doctors and that they were upsetting the legal and regulatory framework governing the rite.
Daily Dispatch reports that on 16 March, the Customary Initiation Bill – which will punish those who endanger the lives of youths undergoing initiation – was sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign into law.
Provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam has confirmed that cheating was still happening and that there would be arrests in the future.
According to Daily Dispatch, Kodwa said: “Unscrupulous medical doctors are abusing the profession and are working in cahoots with bogus traditional surgeons and nurses and parents. They are issuing fake medical certificates to boys that they have not even seen, saying that they have examined them and declared them fit.
“This is a shame and embarrassment to a noble profession. They create distrust. They are making the war against initiation deaths and injuries more difficult.”