Opponents criticise initiation bill

Traditional leaders expressed opposition to a bill proposed by the government of South Africa to prevent deaths and injuries at initiation schools, News 24 reports. The bill would require initiation schools to register with the government and keep up-to-date records or risk closure and possible prison terms. It would also establish a minimum age of 16 for traditional male circumcision and would require that traditional surgeons be registered with the government. According to government figures, botched circumcisions have claimed hundreds of lives and caused severe injuries in the past decade, particularly in Eastern Cape. The chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders is quoted as saying that he and his peers are “fundamentally opposed to this bill” because it seeks to regulate custom (News 24, 2018).