African teenage boys from some ethnic groups often spend time in secluded bush or mountain regions as part of their initiation to manhood, which includes circumcision and lessons in courage and discipline. Scores of boys and young men have their penises amputated each year after botched circumcisions during the rite-of-passage ceremonies. South African police have rescued 11 teenage boys from forced circumcision after parents reported that the young boys had been taken away for the traditional but often dangerous ritual.
Mack Mngomezulu, police spokesman in Daveyton east of Johannesburg, said, "There were 11 boys who were taken for initiation. They were taken from the streets and their parents went to open a case for kidnapping. Their ages were between 13 and 16. They were soon found since parents came to police quickly." The officers said that the boys had not yet been circumcised. They have also arrested three suspects.
These annual ceremonies start around late May every year, with deaths reported each year due to infection, exhaustion and dehydration. Statistics by a government commission revealed that 486 boys died on initiation courses between 2008 and 2014.