A South African school is under fire after it mistakenly circumcised a 9-year-old boy in its family health programme.

The boy underwent a medical circumcision without his guardian's consent and was reportedly not in accordance with Xhosa ethnic group tradition.

According to the child's aunty and guardian, the boy brought home a consent form but it was not signed as the mother did not approve.

Days later he was circumcised against his guardian's will.

Advertisement

"I did not approve of the procedure," the boy's aunty told South African media.

"I knew of the incident when the [health programme] recruiters came knocking at my door.

"They told me the child has been circumcised by mistake. I was confused because I didn't submit the consent form to the school. They apologised for the incident, but still I didn't understand."

South Africa's department of health promotes male circumcision and say clinical trials shows those who have been circumcised have less chance of catching HIV.

However, anyone under the age of 18 requires the consent of his parents.

According to the SA Department of Health guidelines, If the child is older than 16, he too must agree to the process.

The boy's guardian says the unlawful circumcision has ruined the boy's manhood and tampered with their cultural beliefs.

"Circumcision is a sensitive and treasured culture for the Xhosa nation.

"This procedure has ruined the child's manhood … Medical circumcision is not an option unless the parents decide to do it … What they have done can't be reversed."

KwaZulu-Natal police Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed that a case of unlawful circumcision had been reported and an investigation would be held into the matter.