A mother of two underage boys that have allegedly been taken to an initiation school against her will in Port St Johns, wants the government and traditional leaders to intervene. It is alleged that her husband took her 12 and 14-year-old sons to the initiation school without consulting her.  

The woman says her two sons must be rescued and her husband and a traditional surgeon be brought to book.  

According to the provincial circumcision Act, it’s illegal to take minors through the traditional rite of passage.  

It is a very special time in the life of young Xhosa boys as they become men. But sometimes not all is above board and underage boys take part in the age-old custom, some even doing it against their will.  

The provincial government and traditional leadership in the province has been trying for years to stamp out underside of the rite.   

Now, the mother of these two boys are very concerned for their wellbeing.

“My husband took my 12 and 14-year-old to the bushes without my consent. I asked him as to how come he would just take my kids to the initation school. He asked me who am I to the kids. I am not happy about this because. My plans was to make sure that these kids grow up so they rich a permissible age. He told the authorities that my kids are already circumcised.”

She wants her boys to be rescued.

“I need hellp. I really need someone to help me. He is not working and I asked him how is he going to take care of the kids. He said he had goats. I am not sure whether these kids will wear goat skins or what. I am also not working. I do not even know how are these kids doing in the bushes because I am not in Port St Johns. I would appreciate any assistance from anyone to help in the arrest of my husband and the traditional surgeon.”
The issue of underage boys going through initiation is also of great concern for the Khula Community Development project.  

Director of the NGO, Petros Majola, says it is a tendency that has to be stopped.

“We call upon the MEC for Cogta to intervene and see how best children can be protected from this harmful traditional practice because it becomes harmful when is practiced illegally and also, we have approached the provincial commander of the FCS Unit from the SAPS to act accordingly and arrest those who violate the right of the child because the child in the age of 12 and 14 do not even know what manhood means to them.”

Chairperson of Contralesa in the Eastern Cape, Mwelo Nonkonyana, says law enforcement agencies in conjunction with communities must root out criminality in the name of the custom.

“We call upon parents to instill the rules and discipline and respect of both our customary rule and the laws of our country. Furthermore, we call upon police to arrest all those who are bent to bring our custom to disrepute as well as to contravene the laws of our beloved country.”

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is investigating the matter and the whereabouts of the minors.