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AS hundreds of boys in the Eastern Cape head to the bush to take part in the age-old tradition of circumcision, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is working to ensure that its spotless record remains.
Xhosa families – some of whom have already sent their sons to initiation schools around the city – are anxiously waiting for the day when they can proudly announce, by beating drums at dawn, that their child is now a man.
Though there have been calls for the practice to be stopped after scores of initiates died in the Eastern Cape, mostly because of illegal circumcision schools, Nelson Mandela Bay wants to ensure no initiate dies in the area.
Circumcision committee chairman Fezile Desi, a councillor, said the committee worked all year round to ensure the tradition remained sacred.