South African teacher admits to killing teen with albinism for ritual purposes

Josiah Thubane who admitted to the killing of Shabane and baby Nkosikhona.. Middleburg high court, Mpumalanga PHOTO: THULANI MBELE

Published: August 22, 2019
By:  Etsey Atisu  (face2faceAfrica)

A 40-year-old South African teacher, Josiah Thubane, has admitted guilt to kidnapping and killing a 13-year-old girl with albinism, Gabisile Shabane, for a ritual referred to locally as muti. 

The man, who is only one of four men accused of the crime, also abducted a 15-month-old baby without albinism and later threw her alive off a bridge to drown in a dam near the N4 highway, reports the Sowetan Live

He pleaded guilty to all charges including two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of kidnapping, housebreaking with intent to commit murder and one count of violation of a corpse.

Thubane, a teacher by profession and father of four, apologized to the family as he was escorted to the holding cells. 

According to the Sowetan Live, mother of Gabisile, Anna Shabane told the the Middelburg High Court in Mpumalanga that her family has had to beef up security at home since the incident that took place in 2018.

In January 2018, Gabisile was abducted by some men from her home at Hlalakahle in eMalahleni area of Mpumalanga in 2018 along with her 15-month-old baby cousin, Nkosikhona Ngwenya. 

The group of men allegedly wanted her body parts for muti purposes.

Police recovered the bodies of Gabisile Shabane and Nkosikhona Ngwenya in separate locations. 
Image: EMalahleni Residents/Community – Municipality via Facebook

In a statement read out in court, Thubane said that he was part of the plan to kill Gabisile and admitted that he knew she was being abducted to be killed for her body parts. He also admitted to killing baby Nkosikhona.

“I admit that on the 27-28 of January 2018 I did unlawfully and intentionally kill the baby by throwing him off the bridge of Zaalklap River. I admit that on the next day in Cullinan, I killed Gabisile Shabane, a 13-year-old,” reports the Sowetan Live.

Testifying in court, Anna Shabane said she still has flashbacks of the day she found her daughter’s headless and decomposed body with missing body parts.

Nompumelelo Shabane (mother of 15 month old baby) with Anna Shabane ( mother of Gabsile) at the Middleburg High court, Mumalanga.PIC: THULANI MBELE

“I was close to my daughter, and her twin sister Khanyisile has been more shattered by her sister’s passing. The manner in which she was killed makes me feel that they should have taken me and not her,” reports the Sowetan Live.

“I replay the vivid images in my head over and over again and I keep hoping she would come back. She was young and had a bright future ahead of her,” Shabane added.

The prosecutor on the case, Ntsika Mpolweni, told the court the victim’s report revealed that the mother of the murdered 15-month-old baby, Nompumelelo Ngwenya, had been psychologically affected since the mother was breastfeeding him when he was abducted.

The Sowetan Live reports that according to social workers, the family continues to live in fear and had become overprotective of the remaining child as they fear he could also be attacked and killed.

“The fear is so extreme that the [toddler] cannot even go and play outside with other children and that is as the result of the attack, abduction and killing of two of their children.”

The four men facing charges of two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of kidnapping, housebreaking with intent to commit murder and one count of violation of a corpse | News24

Thokozani Msibi, a traditional healer; Brilliant Mkhize and Knowledge Mhlanga, the other three men who face the same charges, will however appear in court again on May 25 next year.

Source: South African teacher admits to killing teen with albinism for ritual purposes

Related: Teacher admits chopping up teen girl with albinism

Published: August 21, 2019
By: Promise Marupeng

The family of a slain 13-year-old girl with albinism are so terrified of muthi killers that they have made their toddler a prisoner in his own home.

Yesterday, Anna Shabane – the mother of 13-year-old Gabisile – told the Middelburg High Court that the family has had to beef up security at home.

Gabisile was killed after she was abducted from her home in Hlalakahle in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, last year by a group of men who allegedly wanted her body parts for muti purposes.

Gabisile’s 15-month-old baby cousin, who didn’t have albinism, Nkosikhona Ngwenya, was also abducted with her and later thrown alive off a bridge to drown in a dam near the N4 highway.

One of the four men accused of the double murders, Josiah Thubane, 40, pleaded guilty on all charges including two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of kidnapping, housebreaking with intent to commit murder and one count of violation of a corpse.

Speaking in aggravation of Thubane’s sentence, Shabane told the high court that her family was living in fear and that her daughter’s killing has destroyed her family.

“I was close to my daughter, and her twin sister Khanyisile has been more shattered by her sister’s passing. The manner in which she was killed makes me feel that they should have taken me and not her,” she said sobbing.

Shabane told the court that she still has flashbacks of the day she found her daughter’s headless and decomposed body with missing body parts.

“I replay the vivid images in my head over and over again and I keep hoping she would come back. She was young and had a bright future ahead of her,” said the mother.

Shabane also revealed that after security was beefed up by installing CCTV cameras and building a high wall at her house, rumour swelled that she had sold her children.

“I was helped by the municipality after my family was attacked to build a wall around my home and to put in cameras, but my community accused me of selling my children for money to renovate my home,” said the mother.

Prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni told the court the victim’s report revealed that the mother of the murdered 15-month-old baby, Nompumelelo Ngwenya, was psychologically affected. Mpolweni said when the child was abducted Ngwenya was breastfeeding him.

The prosecutor further said according to social workers, the family lived in fear and was overprotective of the remaining child as they feared he could also be killed.

“The fear is so extreme that the [toddler] cannot even go and play outside with other children and that is as the result of the attack, abduction and killing of two of their children.”

In a statement read out in court, Thubane said that he was part of the plan to kill Gabisile and admitted that he knew she was being abducted to be killed for her body parts.

Thubane also admitted to killing baby Nkosikhona.

“I admit that on the 27-28 of January 2018 I did unlawfully and intentionally kill the baby by throwing him off the bridge of Zaalklap River. I admit that on the next day in Cullinan, I killed Gabisile Shabane, a 13-year-old,” said Thubane.

Thubane, a teacher by profession and father of four, apologised to the family as he was escorted to the holding cells.

Three of his co-accused in the case – Thokozani Msibi, a traditional healer, Brilliant Mkhize and Knowledge Mhlanga – who face the same charges, will appear in court again on May 25 next year.

Mpolweni said that Thubane was not remorseful for the gruesome murder of the two children.

“He only cooperated after he was caught and nothing justified slaughtering Gabisile and chopping off her head, left arm, removing her heart, liver, genital parts that came as proof supported by the postmortem,” said Mpolweni.

Mpolweni further asked the judge to consider the fact that a baby was thrown off a bridge like a stone into a stream of water to die.

“Did he ever ask himself what trauma and pain the Shabane and Ngwenya families have gone through after their actions?”

Mpolweni further said the perpetrators deserved no lighter sentence than life imprisonment.

The matter was postponed to Friday for sentencing.

Source: Teacher admits chopping up teen girl with albinism

Related: Traditional healer to be sentenced for muti murder of albino teen, baby

A Mpumalanga traditional healer has admitted to killing two children for muti. File photo.  
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Published: August 20, 2019
By: Nonkululeko Njilo  (Sowetan Live)

A traditional healer in Mpumalanga who admitted killing a teen who had albinism and her baby cousin for muti to boost his business will soon learn how long he will spend behind bars. 

Sentencing proceedings against Themba Thubane were expected to commence on Tuesday in the Middelburg high court.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that Thubane pleaded guilty to seven charges.

Provincial NPA spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said the man admitted to killing Gabisile Shabane, 13,  and her 15-month-old cousin Nkosikhona Ngwenya in order to extract muti from them to revive his failing business.  

Thubane was arrested with co-accused Thokozani Msibi‚ Brilliant Mkhize‚ and Knowledge Mhlanga in 2018, after they allegedly broke into the Shabane household in Hlalanikahle‚ Mpumalanga.   

The three co-accused have pleaded not guilty and are expected to return to court on May 25, 2020.

The group was armed during the break-in when they kidnapped the victims and allegedly later murdered them.

Thubane will be sentenced on charges including murder, kidnapping, housebreaking with intent to murder, and the violation of a corpse, according to Nyuswa.  

More than a year since the tragic ordeal, the family expressed relief at the commencement of sentencing proceedings.

In an interview with eNCA, family spokesperson Chantel Ngwenya said the delays had caused unbearable pain to the family.  

“We’re really happy the trial has commenced because we have been waiting for a long time. The waiting was killing us as a family. We are happy even though the others did not admit to committing the crime. It’s painful to us, it shows that they are not remorseful for the pain they’ve caused us.” 

On Thubane’s guilty plea, Ngwenya said: “We hope that we will be able to find closure from the one that admitted to committing the crime. To us it shows he is remorseful, he has a conscience inside him, he regrets it.” 

The family hopes the sentence will take into account the immense pain caused to them by the killings.

Source: Traditional healer to be sentenced for muti murder of albino teen, baby

Related: Nine months after she was mutilated and killed‚ 13-year-old Gabisile Shabane will finally be laid to rest

Published: October 11, 2018
By: Naledi Shange  (Sunday World)

Symphathizers singing in support of the Shabane family who daughter Gabisizele who was living with albinism was brutally murdered in January along with 15 month old Nkosikhona Ngwenya. Photo Thulani Mbele. 05/04/2018

Almost nine months after being abducted from her home and killed for her body parts‚ 13-year-old Gabisile Shabane who had albinism‚ will finally be laid to rest.

The Mpumalanga Community Security Department has announced that she and her one-year-old nephew Nkosikhona Ngwenya will be buried in Witbank next week.

Their burial had been delayed for months on end as DNA tests had yet to verify that the mutilated body parts found in different areas all belonged to Gabisile. The tests have since been concluded.

Gabisile’s headless body had been found buried in a shallow grave in Cullinan‚ east of Pretoria. It was understood that some of her other parts were found in premises belonging to one of the accused in the matter‚ while Nkosikhona had been thrown into a swamp.

It is believed that the attackers had stormed into their home in January and had mistaken the light-skinned Nkosikhona for another albino child who was in the house.

“Four suspects were arrested in February and were charged with kidnapping and murder‚” said department spokesman Joseph Mabuza.

Amongst those arrested is a traditional healer. During their bail application‚ the court had heard horrific details of how Gabisile was forced to drink brake fluid and beer and also smoke dagga shortly before her mutilation.

The suspects on Wednesday returned to the Witbank Magistrate’s Court‚ where their case was postponed to August 2019 for trial. They remain behind bars.

Meanwhile‚ Mpumalanga’s MEC of Community Security Pat Ngomane was on Thursday expected to unveil the Shabane home‚ which has been renovated to tighten security.

“During his visit to the family earlier this year‚ MEC Ngomane‚ the eMalahleni Local Municipality and some stakeholders such as Highveld Steel pledged to assist the family by enhancing the security features of their house in order to prevent further break-ins‚” said Mabuza.

“Through donations‚ the MEC and the stakeholders managed to refurbish the house. The roof of the house has been redone‚ the house plastered and painted and the floor tiled. A security wall and a gate have also been completed‚” he added.

Source: Nine months after she was mutilated and killed‚ 13-year-old Gabisile Shabane will finally be laid to rest

Related: 
‘Let’s burn this court!’ Outrage as alleged killers of albino girl is postponed again

Angry residents outside a Witbank court wanted to set the court house on fire after another delay in the murder case of an albino girl. 
Image: Thulani Mbele 

Published: August 14, 2018
By: Naledi Shange  

Residents of Witbank expressed outrage on Tuesday after hearing the case against four men accused of abducting and killing an albino girl and her nephew was postponed yet again.

“Let’s burn this court!” the 150-strong crowed chanted as they gathered outside the Witbank Magistrate’s Court.

The four accused appeared via satellite from the Witbank Correctional Services Centre‚ where they have been kept since their arrest.

Tensions flared outside the court behind the rolls of police tape used to keep the crowds away from the building.

“The family has stayed with a cloud of death over them for seven months and‚ according to our customs‚ this is not done‚” Taylor Pookgoadi‚ the district secretary of the SA Communist Party in Nkangala told the crowd of supporters.

While‚ the family and scores of other supporters had arrived at the court hoping for the matter to commence‚ it became apparent that the matter was not quite ready for trial.

“It doesn’t seem like there will be much progress when we come back on October 10‚” Pookgoadi told the crowd. “We want the case to simply be moved to a bigger court.”

The case had been postponed after it was found that a fifth suspect was yet to be extradited from Swaziland‚ where he also faces other charges.

Also‚ the DNA results‚ which would determine if the body parts found in different locations were that of 13-year-old Gabisile Shabane‚ who had been mutilated‚ were yet to be obtained.

Gabisile’s 15-month-old nephew‚ Nkosikhona Ngwenya‚ was abducted with her.

It is believed that the attackers who had stormed their home in January and had mistaken the light-skinned toddler for another albino child who was in the house. His remains were found dumped in a swamp near the N4 highway.

Trudy Xhala-Mavimbela‚ from the office of the mayor‚ said the family had found themselves in a tricky situation because not all of Gabisile’s body parts had been found.

“We can’t bury them until the suspects [hand over] the rest of the body parts‚” Xhala- Mavimbela said.

“This matter has been dragging on since January. Government needs to speed things up so that the family can find peace. This has been traumatic for the family‚” she added‚ addressing the crowds.

On Tuesday‚ two of the alleged killers bowed their heads‚ avoiding contact with the camera that showed their faces to the court. The third beamed his bright smile as he saw the crowds of people seated in the court gallery‚ while the fourth accused simply stared straight forward.

Gabisile’s sister‚ the mother of Nkosikhona‚ stared at the screen‚ glaring at the men accused of taking her son and her sister’s life.

After proceedings‚ she‚ her mother and other relatives who had packed the court stood outside‚ where they briefly spoke to the media.

They expressed concern at the delay in the case.

“We are not happy with how things are progressing‚” said Sibongile Shabane.

They expressed their displeasure at how abruptly court proceedings had ended as one of the accused had raised his hand‚ requesting to speak to his lawyer.

The lawyer stepped out of the courtroom to give his client‚ who was at the prison‚ a call.

The matter was temporarily adjourned but minutes later the lawyer returned and left the court‚ leaving the court orderlies to explain that‚ as previously stated‚ the matter had simply been postponed to October.

Meanwhile‚ a source close to the family spoke to the trauma that the family faced as they frequently went to the mortuary to check on the corpses of the children‚ adding that the body parts were wilting away in the ice.

The worst part‚ however‚ was that even as court proceedings were scheduled to continue in October‚ there was no guarantee that the DNA tests would be ready and the bodies would be released for the burial‚ he said.

Source: ‘Let’s burn this court!’ Outrage as alleged killers of albino girl is postponed again

Related: 

Related: Policeman reveals horror he found at sangoma’s premises

The little albino girl and her one-year-old nephew who were kidnapped last month. Image: Missing person alert poster

Published: February 28, 2018
By: Naledi Shange   (Sowetan Live)

A police officer has described the trauma that he and other officers experienced when they discovered remains believed to be those of Gabisile Shabani‚ a 13-year-old albino girl who was murdered‚ allegedly as part of a muti ritual.

The premises in Emalahleni in Mpumalanga belonged to a traditional healer‚ who was arrested last week.

“The dog was first put in there‚ but it came out with nothing‚” said the officer‚ who asked not to be named.

“The dog seemed weak and disorientated as it came out of the room. The dog handler asked [the traditional healer] what he had done to his dog and he said there was strong muti in there‚” the officer said.

Inside the room‚ police officers found muti‚ buckets and bags with various substances‚ and what appeared to be body parts.

“He was telling us what was in each thing. He was speaking like a normal person‚ like you and I. It was really disturbing‚” said the officer.

Gabisile’s beheaded body was found in a shallow grave in Cullinan near Pretoria last week. This was three weeks after she and her 15-month-old nephew‚ Nkosikhona Ngwenya‚ were taken at gunpoint in the middle of the night by three men who broke into their home in Hlalanikahle.

It was alleged that the gunmen had mistaken Nkosikhona for another toddler in the house‚ who also has albinism.

The badly decomposed body of the little toddler was recovered on the same day Gabisile’s body was found. He had been thrown into a swamp along the N4.

The officer said he was disturbed to learn from pathologists conducting the post-mortem how Gabisile’s body had been mutilated.

Meanwhile‚ two other people have also been arrested in connection with the incident‚ said the officer. They were arrested in Swaziland and are yet to be brought back to South Africa.

The 32-year-old traditional healer remains in police custody. He appeared in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday as a group of residents gathered outside the court to protest against his release. The father of four will return to court on March 6‚ when his formal bail application is expected to continue.

Source: Policeman reveals horror he found at sangoma’s premises

Related: 
Bodies believed to be those of two children snatched from their home in Witbank last month found

The little albino girl and her one-year-old nephew who were kidnapped last month. Image: Missing person alert poster.

Published: February 21, 2018
By: Naledi Shange  (Sowetan Live)

Two bodies believed to be those of a little albino girl and her one-year-old nephew who were snatched from their home in Hlalanikahle‚ Witbank‚ last month were found on Wednesday.

Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said one of the corpses was found in Cullinan while the other was found in a swamp on the N4 en route to Pretoria.

“The bodies were in a bad state‚” Hlathi said.

“A postmortem needs to be conducted to determine the cause of death and DNA tests to also confirm it is them‚” he said.

Gabisile Shabani‚ 13‚ and her 15-month-old nephew‚ Nkosikhona Ngwenya‚ were kidnapped last month by armed gunmen who broke into their house in the middle of the night.

Relatives said they believed Gabisile had been taken because she was an albino. They also told TimesLIVE they believed Nkosikhona had been mistaken for another toddler who was in the house at the time who also lived with albinism.

Hlathi said one suspect had since been arrested.

“He will be appearing in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court today‚” Hlathi said.

Source: Bodies believed to be those of two children snatched from their home in Witbank last month found

Related: 
Man seen loitering outside house before young girl snatched from her bed

Published: February 1, 2018
By: Naledi Shange (Sowetan Live)

A 13-year-old girl who was snatched from her bed in Hlalanikahle‚ Witbank‚ two days ago may have been the victim of a calculated‚ well planned abduction.

Anna Shabani said she had noticed a man watching her daughter Gabisile‚ as she walked back from school for several days in a row.

She had never seen the man in the area before this‚ neither had she bothered to ask why he was loitering close to her home‚ Anna’s nephew Simon‚ told TimesLIVE.

“I was told that this person would stand facing the door of the house‚” Simon said.

Now the family is wondering whether the same man could have been involved in the kidnapping of the little girl as well as her one-year-old nephew.

In the early hours of Sunday morning‚ 50-year-old Anna woke up to the sound of glass shattering.

She went to check and found that the one window which did not have burglar bars had been broken and before she knew it‚ there were three men inside her house.

“I tried to scream and ask for help but they came in and pointed a gun at me. I ran back into my room and tried to close the door but they shoved it and overpowered me‚” Anna said.

One of the attackers pointed a gun at her and covered her mouth while the other headed to the bed and grabbed Gabisile‚ who is a twin.

Gabisile had lay sleeping on her bed while her sister slept in another room with Anna’s grandchild.

Unlike her twin sister Khanyisile‚ Gabisile was born with albinism.

“I’m not sure whether she was still asleep at the time [she was taken] because the light was still off‚” Anna told TimesLIVE.

“But she didn’t scream or cry.”

The SA Community Crime Watch’s Maureen Scheepers said her group had been circulating pictures of the missing girl and working with police in their investigation.

Scheepers said the little girl had been wearing only her underwear when the assailants fled with her.

As the attackers rushed out of the house‚ Gabisile’s 18-year-old sister Nompumelelo‚ who had been sleeping in a separate bedroom with her 15-month-old son‚ Nkosikhona Ngwenya‚ emerged from her room.

“I told her that these men have taken Gabisile. She said ‘they took my child too’‚” said Anna.

The family called out to neighbours for help and a manhunt ensued.

Two days later and they still have no leads.

Anna said she had no idea why her daughter and grandson were taken.

Simon said it had crossed their minds that Gabisile was taken because of her albinism.

Colonel Mtsholi Bembe said they were investigating housebreaking and kidnapping cases.

“We have just finished compiling the identikit and we will be releasing it soon‚” Mtsholi said.

Scheepers said when she asked the family to describe the suspects‚ they said they were not South African.

Nompulelo said the abductors were speaking in English and had told her to “freeze” and give them the baby.

The family was patiently awaiting any news.

“Everyone [in the community] is shocked by this. You hear of children going missing but this is something else‚” said Anna.

Source: Man seen loitering outside house before young girl snatched from her bed

Malawi cops detain suspect who tried to strangle albino boy (2015 article)

This image courtesy of the Milliyet Daily shows women carrying their albino children on May 5, 2014, in Dar es Salaam. The Tanzanian government has taken some steps in the wake of the killing spree, opening shelters for albino children in some parts of the country and commissioning task forces to investigate albino killings. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete appointed the country’s first albino member of parliament in 2008. Gauging the size of Tanzania’s albino population is difficult, and estimates vary wildly. The government has undertaken a national survey of albinos but has not released its findings. Albino advocacy groups put the number somewhere above 100,000, out of a total population of roughly 48 million people. AFP PHOTO/MILLIYET DAILY HANDOUT/BUNYAMIN AYGUN

Published: March 12, 2015
By: MalayMail

BLANTYRE (Malawi), March 12 — Police in Malawi said today they had arrested a man for trying to strangle to death a 16-year-old albino boy, with a rights group reporting six murders in the last three months.

The suspect had been on the run after he was caught trying to kill the 16-year-old at his home in February.

In the southern tea-growing district of Mulanje, police spokesman James Kadadzera said the man would soon appear in court on a charge of attempted murder.

As in other parts of Africa, albinos in Malawi are killed for their body parts, which are sold for witchcraft.

Six albinos have been killed in the impoverished southern African country since December, according to the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi.

Malawian albinos are “living in fear of being attacked or killed” because of the recent spate of murders, association director Boniface Massah said.

Belief in witchcraft runs deep in Malawi and albino body parts are often used in rituals. Even the bodies of dead albinos are sometimes exhumed and sold.

Earlier this week, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein denounced attacks against albinos as “stunningly vicious, with children in particular being targeted”.

Albinism is a hereditary genetic condition that causes a total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.

Countries in east and west Africa are worst affected, and Tanzania near Malawi has one of the highest attack rates.

In Tanzania, body parts sell for around US$600 (RM2,100) and an entire corpse fetches US$75,000, according to the UN.

Today, Tanzanian police said over 200 people have been arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on witchdoctors linked to a wave of albino attacks and murders.

Albinism in Tanzania affects one in 1,400 births, often as a result of inbreeding, experts say. — AFP

Source: Malawi cops detain suspect who tried to strangle albino boy

Nigeria: Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings, corruption

It’s not the first time that the Oluwo of Iwoland, Abdulrasheed Akanbi, speaks out against ritualistic murders (see my May 21 and August 11, 2019 postings) and it won’t be the last time either. He is courageous to raise his voice against this practice, which is based on superstition, greed, ignorance AND the absence of the rule of law. Governments must act: governments are obliged to protect their citizens and to uphold the law, to punish perpetrators of heinous crimes such as ritualistic killings, known as ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria.

Traditional leaders have a responsibility too. On previous occasions, the Oluwo of Iwoland, Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has even accused his fellow traditional rulers of complicity, of being involved in ritualistic killings in their domains (see my May 11, 2019 posting). True or not true, failing to address the issue and educate their people, traditional rulers may be reproached to be responsible – to a certain extent – of the atrocities committed (webmaster FVDK).

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi

Published: August 20, 2019
By: Brendan Umoren  – Today (Nigeria)

Oluwo of Iwoland, HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has declared readiness to lead a national protest against ritual killings and corruption in the country.

He lamented the impotency of government at tackling ritual menace, stating that ritual killing is prevalence but deadlier than kidnapping.

Oluwo stated protection of lives is the primary responsibility of the government, noting such can be credited until ritual killings is checkmated by the present administration.

He equally vowed to declare an open protest against corruption characterising public officials in Nigeria.

Oluwo decry daily loss of innocent lives to ritual killings, saying it is an aberration to culture and highest denial of right to life.

According to a statement by the monarch’s press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, Oluwo called for enactment of strict penal system against human ritualists and corrupt individual to safeguard human and protect their lives.

“It is saddens no attention is paid by the federal government to prevalence ritual killings pervading our country. Thousands fall victim of ritual on daily basis but regrettably, no one condemns such. I’m not happy with the neglect of my outcry on daily killings of my sons and daughters by ritualists. These people are deadlier than Bokoharam and kidnappers. I will lead thousands of Nigerians with like minds on national protest against human ritualists and corrupt individual.

“Right now, as I’m talking, evil men are somewhere killing human for rituals in the name of money and promotion. Few relate offering human for sacrifice as culture, no, it is an aberration to every culture. No culture accepts human as sacrifice ” he said.

Oluwo added that “I’m appealing to federal government to declare war against ritual killings. Strict penalty like death should be meted on any one culpable. Killers should be killed. Killing is not a forgivable offence. If federal government refuse, I will declare an open traditional war against ritualists and front a national protest.

“The Afeniferes, OPCs, Agbekoyas and other pan Yoruba cultural groups should join the revolution against ritual killings. Many gave gone to the journey of no return in the hands of ritual killers. It is pathetic, sad and calls for urgent legislation. Ritual killing is decimating our population daily. Must we continue watching the menace? Those in the government are not seeing what we see. Ritual murders is prevalent on the south west, south east. We must rise before it claim all out promising sons and daughters.

“I want to state it clearly here that killing human for rituals is not Yoruba culture. It is alien to our culture. Yoruba culture is pure, clean and attractive. Look at my dress, it is enticing, fascinating, ostentatious and attractive. Only the ignorance and enemies of Yoruba culture will relate ritual killings to Yoruba culture.”

Oluwo said declaring emergency war against ritual killings is acute to secure human lives.

Source: Oluwo to lead protest against ritual killings, corruption

Related article: I’ll lead protest against ritual killings, corruption – Oluwo

Published: August 21, 2019
By: Hameed Oyegbade, Osogbo

The Oluwo of Iwoland,  Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Tuesday said he would lead a national protest against ritual killings and corruption.
 
Oluwo, in a statement by his press secretary, Alli Ibrahim, alleged government’s inability to tackle ritual killings which, according to him, are deadlier than kidnapping.
The first-class traditional ruler decried daily loss of lives to ritual killings, describing it as “an aberration to culture and highest denial of right to life.”

Oluwo advocated death penalty for ritualists and corrupt individuals.

He stated: “Thousands fall victim of rituals on a daily basis, but regrettably, no one condemns such. I’m not happy with the neglect of my outcry on daily killings of my sons and daughters by ritualists. Right now as I’m talking, evil men are somewhere killing humans for rituals in the name of money and promotion. No culture accepts human beings as sacrifice. “Killers should be killed. Killing is not a forgivable offence. If the federal government refuses, I’ll declare an open traditional war against ritualists and front a national protest. “Those in the government are not seeing what we see. Ritual killings are prevalent in the southwest and southeast.  I want to state it clearly here that killing humans for rituals is not Yoruba culture. It is alien to our culture. Yoruba culture is pure, clean and attractive.”

Source: I’ll lead protest against ritual killings, corruption – Oluwo

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi.

Malawi judge sentences three to death for albinism murder

File Photo

Published: August 14, 2019
By: Charles Pensulo, Thomson Reuters Foundation

BLANTYRE, Aug 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Three people have been sentenced to death in Malawi for the murder and mutilation of a person with albinism, a court official confirmed on Wednesday, a sanction the judge said would serve as a strong deterrent. 

Malawi is one of the most dangerous countries for people with the condition, who are targeted for ritual killings because of a belief that their body parts can increase wealth. 

Douglas Mwale, Sophie Here and Fontino Folosani killed Prescott Pepuzani in 2015, using a metal bar and a hoe handle before chopping off his hands and legs and burying him in Mwale’s garden in Mchinji district, Central Malawi. 

Passing sentence on Tuesday at the High Court in Mchinji, Judge Esmey Chombo said it would act as a strong deterrent to others and help put an end to the crime. 

Another man was sentenced to death in Malawi in May for murdering a teenager with albinism – the first time the death penalty had been handed down in such a case – though he has not been executed. (Also see my May 4 posting – webmaster FVDK).

Malawi operates a moratorium on the death penalty and last carried out an execution in 1992, according to research by Cornell Law School. 

The southern African country is home to up to 10,000 people with albinism, a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. 

Their body parts can fetch high sums in an underground trade concentrated in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania. 

There have been more than 160 recorded attacks in Malawi including 22 murders since November 2014, according to human rights group Amnesty International. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK)

The government has denied accusations by rights groups that it is doing little to stop the violence. 

Overstone Kondowe, who heads the African Union for People with Albinism, said he hoped the sentence would curb the attacks. 

“This is really a big step and we want to encourage the Malawi government to continue (with tough penalties),” he said. 

“Whether they will really be hanged or not, it’s not significant. The public will still get the message.” 

Kondowe urged the courts to take a similarly tough stance with other pending cases, adding that the murders of people with albinism had fallen in Tanzania, which has imposed the death penalty in similar cases.

(Reporting by Charles Pensulo; Writing by Emma Batha; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

Source: Malawi judge sentences three to death for albinism murder

Related articles: 

Death penalty handed down for three albino killers in Malawi

An albino boy and his friend in Luwerezi, Malawi (Wikimedia/janjacob).

Published: August 14,2019
By: RFI

Two men and a woman have been sentenced to death in Malawi after being convicted of brutally murdering a man with albinism in 2015.

The “three were found guilty of (murder and possessing human tissue) and have been sentenced to death” in Mchinji on Tuesday, judiciary spokesperson Agness Patemba told Agence France Presse newswire.

Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere used a metal bar and hoe handle to kill Priscott Pepuzani, chopping off his limbs and burying his body. Body parts of people with albinism are seen as magical, their limbs used in witchcraft for good luck, wealth, or to win elections.

“This ruling enhances our faith in the judiciary and solidifies our belief that we have them as an advocate in our fight to curb killings and abductions against people with albinism,” Ian Simbota, the head of the Association of People Living with Albinism, said after the ruling.

He added that he hoped it would deter others from attacking people with albinism.

President Peter Mutharika created a commission of inquiry last March after a number of people with albinism were attacked. He had come under fire for not adequately responding to the issue.

Amnesty International released a report in May showing that 22 of the 163 cases reported in Malawi since 2014 have been murders, an indication that little had been done to combat the issue.

This is the second death sentence handed down this year for albino murders. In May, Willard Mikaele, the killer of Mphatso Pensulo, 19, was sentenced to death.

Death sentences are usually commuted to life imprisonment, as Malawi has not executed any criminals since 1994.

Source: Death penalty handed down for three albino killers in Malawi

And:

Malawi court sentences three to death over albino killing

Malawi’s musician with albinism, Lazarus Chigwandali, practices his guitar and drum in front of his children before leaving his home at Likuni to go and perform at Area 3 Market in the capital Lilongwe on May 10, 2019 in Likuni on the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi. – Chigwandali is not the usual street musician. He is an albino, releasing a professional album, and the star of a documentary produced by Madonna. Albinos are often targeted in brutal attacks in Malawi and other southern African countries because they have white skin due to a hereditary condition that causes lack of pigmentation. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP)

Published: August 14, 2019
By: MalayMail

BLANTYRE, Aug 14 — A Malawi court has convicted and sentenced two men and a woman to death for killing a person with albinism, a judiciary official said today.

Malawi has since late 2014 seen a surge in attacks on people with albinism, whose body parts are often used in witchcraft rituals to bring wealth and luck.

The court found Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere guilty of murdering Priscott Pepuzani in 2015 using a metal bar and a hoe handle. The trio chopped off Pepuzani’s limbs and later buried the rest of the body in a garden. The “three were found guilty of (murder and possessing human tissue) and have been sentenced to death,” Agness Patemba, judiciary spokeswoman told AFP. The sentence was handed down in the western town of Mchinji on Tuesday.

This is the second death sentence handed down in the country in the past three months following one in May this year for the murder of 19-year-old albino Mphatso Pensulo in 2017.

Malawi has not carried out any executions since 1994, with death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Association of People Living with Albinism welcomed Tuesday’s ruling, hoping it will deter attacks on their members.

“This ruling enhances our faith in the judiciary and solidifies our belief that we have them as an advocate in our fight to curb killings and abductions against people with albinism,” said Ian Simbota, leader of the association. 

President Peter Mutharika in March appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the spate of attacks on people with albinism after coming under mounting criticism over his response to the attacks.

Albinos are often targeted in brutal attacks in Malawi – one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries – because they have white skin due to a hereditary condition that causes lack of pigmentation. In many cases, those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

Of 163 cases reported in the country since November 2014, 22 have been murders, Amnesty International said in May 2019, criticising impunity for the crimes. Just 30 per cent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics. — AFP (italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

Source: Malawi court sentences three to death over albino killing

And: 
Malawi: 3 sentenced to death over killing of person with albinism – Second death sentence handed down in recent months related to violence against people with albinism.

People with albinism, of which there are up to 10,000 in the country, are often victims of brutal attacks in Malawi [Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP]

Published: August 15, 2019
By: AlJazeera

Malawi court has convicted and sentenced three people to death for killing a person with albinism.

The “three were found guilty of [murder and possessing human tissue] and have been sentenced to death,” judiciary spokeswoman Agness Patemba told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

The court found Douglas Mwale, Fontino Folosani and Sophie Jere guilty of murdering Priscott Pepuzani in 2015 using a metal bar and a hoe handle. The trio chopped off Pepuzani’s limbs and buried the rest of the body in a garden.

The sentence was handed down in the western town of Mchinji on Tuesday.

This is the second death sentence handed down in the country in the past three months.

Another man was sentenced to death in May for murdering a teenager with albinism – the first time the death penalty had been handed down in such a case – though he has not been executed.

Malawi has not carried out any executions since 1994, with death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

‘Big step’

In March, Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the spate of attacks on people with albinism, after coming under mounting criticism over his response to the attacks.

Overstone Kondowe, who heads the African Union for People with Albinism, said he hoped the sentence would curb the attacks.

“This is really a big step and we want to encourage the Malawi government to continue [with tough penalties],” said Kondowe.

“Whether they will really be hanged or not, it’s not significant. The public will still get the message.”

The Association of People Living with Albinism also welcomed the ruling, hoping it will deter attacks on their members.

“This ruling enhances our faith in the judiciary and solidifies our belief that we have them as an advocate in our fight to curb killings and abductions against people with albinism,” said Ian Simbota, leader of the association.

People with albinism, of which there are up to 10,000 in the country, are often victims of brutal attacks in Malawi – one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent nations.

This is because of their white skin resulting from a hereditary condition that causes a lack of pigmentation.

Other conditions associated with albinism include vulnerability to bright light, which can cause legal blindness.

Often, individuals with albinism are targeted in Malawi for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.

More than 160 cases have been reported in the country since November 2014, of which 22 have been murders, Amnesty International said in May 2019.

Just 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics. 

Source: Malawi: 3 sentenced to death over killing of person with albinism

PS The original AlJazeera article contains three additional, interesting presentations, one on ‘What is albinism and what causes it?‘ (Infographic), another called ‘Africa investigates: The spell of the albino’ – 25 minutes), and a third called ‘Killed for their bones – Read their story‘, a lengthy article with lots of photos, and worth reading (webmaster FVDK).  

Teenage albino boy killed and dismembered in Burundi

File photo (Getty Images)

Published: August 18, 2019
By: Zamira Rahim 

A teenage albino boy has reportedly been killed and dismembered in Burundi. An albino rights group said the 15-year-old’s body was found late on Saturday, according to the AFP news agency. “The young albino was killed atrociously … his murderers cut his right leg off at the knee, his right arm and his tongue,” said Kassim Kazungu, the head of Albinos Without Borders.

Previous albino killings in the African country have been linked to people practising witchcraft. More than 20 albino people have been killed in Burundi since 2008. (iitalics added by the webmaster FVDK)

In 2016 a five-year-old albino girl was kidnapped from her home by gunmen. The child’s dismembered body was discovered shortly afterwards. (Also see my October 4, 2018 posting).

Burundi’s government has banned witch doctors who claim to perform spells and charms using albino body parts to bring good luck and wealth. But in some areas a complete albino skeleton is worth as much as $75,000 (£62,000), according to the Red Cross. 

Around 500 albino people live in Burundi.

Officials believe killings are carried out by local residents who work with witch doctors in neighbouring Tanzania, where 53 albino people have been killed since 2007 for their body parts. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK).

There are around 170,000 albino people living in Tanzania. 

Source: Teenage albino boy killed and dismembered in Burundi

Related article: 
Albino teen found dismembered in Burundi

Published: August 19, 2019
By: Agence France-Presse

NAIROBI, Kenya – A 15-year-old albino boy has been found dismembered in Burundi a week after going missing, the first such killing in the country in three years, a local albino group said Sunday.

Albinos, who have white skin and yellow hair as a result of a genetic disorder that causes the absence of pigmentation, are killed regularly in some African countries for their body parts, which are used in witchcraft rituals. 

The teenager was found dead late Saturday in the northwest of the country along the Rusizi river separating Burundi from the DR Congo, not far from his home village.

“The young albino was killed atrociously… His murderers cut his right leg off at the knee, his right arm and his tongue,” said Kassim Kazungu, the head of the local association Albinos Without Borders.

More than 20 albinos have been killed in Burundi since 2008, with the last case in 2016 when a five-year-old girl was found dismembered after being taken from her home. 

Kazungu said a four-year-old albino boy had been missing since October 2018 from the village of Cendajuri near the Tanzanian border, but that he had “no hope” of finding him alive.

Some experts believe the demand for albino body parts in Tanzania — where such attacks are the most prevalent — has fueled such killings in border areas.

Source: Albino teen found dismembered in Burundi: association

Ghana: woman arrested in failed ritual murder

The suspect, Humu Iddrisu

Published: May 26 , 2019 , 13:58
By: graphic.com.gh

The Police in Osenase, a community near Akwatia in the Eastern region have arrested a 32-year-old seamstress known as Humu Iddrisu for allegedly conspiring with a ‘Pastor’ in a failed ritual murder of a 31-year-old woman identified as Esther Dzakah.

They allegedly lured her by pretending to offer her spiritual assistance for her husband to be more responsible.

The victim who suffered deep cuts on her left cheek and mouth with her right forefinger cut off is currently on admission at St Dominic Hospital in Akwatia.

Information gathered indicates the suspect, Humu Iddrisu, who is a friend to the victim recommended the suspected Pastor – who is on the run – to help her fix her marital predicament by making her husband who has shirked responsibility in taking care of their children to be more responsible.

On the fateful day, the suspect lured the victim to take Gh₵13,000 belonging to her husband to see the Pastor for the spiritual help.

They lodged at Seth Mensah Guest House around 3pm but around 7:00pm the suspects took the victim to an uncompleted building 500 meters away from the Guest House where the Pastor forcibly gave the victim a concoction as part of the rituals.

The victim suddenly became weak after taking the concoction.

The suspects swiftly hit her head with cement block and bolted.

The victim told Police that, she regained consciousness after few minutes though the suspects thought she was dead. She said while lying motionless she heard the Pastor telling his accomplice that he was going to bring something from the nearby bush.

According to the victim, she quickly gathered strength and struggled with her friend, suspect – Humu Iddrisu – biting her severely on her cheeks before she managed to escape to the guest house and screamed for help.

Workers at the Guest House quickly called the Police around 10:45pm upon which the Police Patrol Team at Awaham junction responded swiftly, rushed the victim who was bleeding profusely to the St.Dominic Hospital where she is currently on admission.

Police investigations led to the arrest of the Humu Iddrisu, but the Pastor is at large.

Police also retrieved the Gh₵13,000 which was in possession of the victim from the crime scene. It is highly suspected that the suspects attempted to rather use the victim for sacrifice.

The Public Relations Officer of the Eastern Regional Police Command, DSP Ebenezer Tetteh told Starr News that the suspect will be put before Court on May 27, 2019 while efforts are underway to arrest the Pastor.

Source: Woman arrested in failed ritual murder

Related article: 
32-year-old seamstress grabbed by police after failed ritual killing attempt 

Published: May 27 or May 26, 2019
By: Nii Ntreh

The police in the Eastern region have arrested a 32-year-old seamstress, Humu Iddrisu, for allegedly conspiring with another in attempt at ritual murder of a 31-year-old woman. Humu Iddrisu, a 32-year-old seamstress at Osenase in the Eastern region, has been arrested by the police for allegedly trying to lure and murder another woman in connivance with another person described as a pastor. According to the Graphic.com.gh report sighted by YEN.com.gh, Humu tried to lure her near-victim Esther Dzikah, by pretending to offer her spiritual assistance for Dzikah’s husband to be more responsible. The report has it that Iddrisu, a friend known to Dzikah, recommended the said pastor, to help Dzikah fix her marital predicament by making her husband who has shirked responsibility in taking care of their children to be more responsible.
 
On the fateful day, the suspect asked Dzikah to take GHC 13,000 belonging to her husband to see the pastor for the spiritual help. They lodged at Seth Mensah Guest House around 3pm. But around 7pm, Iddrisu and the pastor took the victim to an uncompleted building 500 meters away from the Guest House where the pastor forcibly gave the victim a concoction as part of the rituals which made her collapse. The victim told police that she regained consciousness after sometime though the suspects thought she was dead. She said while lying motionless, she heard the pastor telling his accomplice that he was going to bring something from the nearby bush. 

According to the victim, she quickly gathered strength and struggled with her Iddrisu, biting her severely on her cheeks, before she managed to escape to the guest house and screamed for help. Workers at the guest house quickly called the police around 10:45 pm upon which a patrol team at Awaham responded swiftly and rushed the victim who was bleeding profusely to the St.Dominic Hospital where she is currently on admission. Police investigations led to the arrest of the Humu Iddrisu, but the pastor is at large. 

Police also retrieved the GHC 13,000 which was in possession of the victim from the crime scene. It is highly suspected that the suspects attempted to rather use the victim for sacrifice.

Source: 32-year-old seamstress grabbed by police after failed ritual killing attempt

Harsh weather conditions killing albinos in Ghana

Persons with Albinism are trying to engage the public to help deal with climate change.
Photo: Africa Feeds Media

Published: May 21, 2019
By: Senyo Esah 

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition that leads to a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light.

Persons with albinism in Ghana are dying at an alarming rate as a result of climatic change and harsh weather conditions.

The association of Persons with Albinism (PWAs) in Ghana has lamented the harsh weather condition. It said although global warming is a worldwide headache, its members are the hardest hit by its effects.

This is because persons with albinism have peculiar skin condition.

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition that leads to a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light.

The condition is characterized by lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes.

Global warming records

According to co2.earth, the temperature across the global land and ocean surfaces in the year 2018 was 0.86°C (1.55°F).

That is above the 20th-century average and places October temperature as the second highest since global records began in 1880.

Director of the association of Persons with Albinism in Ghana, Newton Katseku told Africafeeds.com that the current era of global warming is a very unbearable time for his members.

He explained that due to the absence of melanin in their skins, they suffer skin cancers as a result of direct exposure to the ultraviolet rays.The association is, therefore, calling on the public to engage in tree planting and other environmental health support programmes to remedy global warming.

Newton Katseku has also called on the government of Ghana to commit resources to Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDGs 13) which enjoins all nations across the world to adopt environmentally friendly policies to help salvage the increasing rise in global temperature.

He believes fulfilling the goal will bring relief to persons living with albinism as they will have a congenial ecosystem to survive and also contribute their quota to the well-being of the society.

Persons with Albinism are trying to engage the public to help deal with climate change.
Photo: Africa Feeds Media

Anti-albino cultural practices

According to recent statistics, as of 2009, between one in 17,000 and one in 20,000 people were albinos globally.

But in parts of Africa including Ghana persons with albinism also suffer various forms of discrimination.

In certain parts of Africa including Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa among others, albinos are killed for ritual purposes. The belief is that, using their body parts for ritual sacrifices engender success in businesses and other endeavours. (italics added by the webmaster FVDK)

In some communities in Ghana, they are not welcomed and supported.

There are ongoing public engagements with traditional rulers of some communities to amend their cultural practices that are inimical such persons.

Newton Katseku told Africa Feeds that his outfit intends to expand the engagements to other parts of the nation.

“This is as a result of our finding that certain communities in Ghana do not tolerate persons with albinism, neither do they allow them to live in the communities.

These communities are not welcoming to persons with albinism because of their cultural practices and beliefs. So, we have thought it wise to dialogue with the traditional leaders of the communities to fashion out how to amend some of their cultural practices and beliefs,” Katseku said.

The initiative is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, a West African organization that promotes democratic values.

A public gathering in a community in Ghana to seek support for Albinos.
Photo: Africa Feeds Media

Source: Harsh weather conditions killing albinos in Ghana

South Africa: dead man’s ‘missing private parts’ spark riot

The article presented below does not represent a firm case of a ritual killing – or muti murder, as these crimes are called in southern Africa – but illustrates the daily fear of residents of countries in the region and the reaction of the population when suspecting another case of muti murder in their neighborhood.
Mob justice means that the rule of law is absent. Governments must protect its citizens and punish perpetrators of heinous crimes like muti murders. People have a right to live without fear.
For his reason, the article has been included here (webmaster FVDK).

One of the three houses which were torched by residents on the witchhunt for suspects following the suspicious death of a local.  Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Published: August 14, 2019
By: Peter Ramothwala  

The death of a man has sparked a vigilante attack after his family members found he had body parts missing.

James Makhubele, 69, from Blinkwater village outside Giyani in Limpopo, was meant to be laid to rest on Sunday, but his family were shocked to discover his private parts were missing during a body viewing.

Makhubele was believed to have died in an apparent hit and run. But his family claimed he was killed and his body thrown on to the road to look like he was hit by a car.

Enraged community members, who were at the funeral, torched three houses belonging to three people they suspected of killing him and cutting the deceased’s body parts.

According to relatives, Makhubele’s body had deep cuts on the thighs and had his penis cut off.

Police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe said investigations have been broadened and a second postmortem would be conducted.Ngoepe confirmed the family had registered a complaint, regarding missing body parts of the deceased.

Makhubele’s niece Sophie Maluleke, 42, said her uncle was last seen at family gathering on August 3 when he retired for the night.

“When we got home we found that he wasn’t there. While we were still worried about where he could have went, somebody came to inform us that my uncle was hit by a car and he is dead,” Maluleke said.”We found him dripping blood from his pants, but his trousers were still intact.

Sophie Maluleke ,43, R, and Tsakane Baloyi. PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

“We didn’t check what caused the bleeding because we immediately called the police to the scene,” she said.

The family could not see Makhubele’s body for a week at the government mortuary in Elim because of a service delivery protest.

She said on Sunday during the funeral, rumour swirled that her uncle may have been a victim of ritual killings.

“Two men from the community volunteered to inspect the entire body during the funeral proceeding and found his private parts missing.”The deceased’s brother Rexon said they immediately called off the funeral and called the police to do further investigation.

“We were shocked. What they did to my brother is inhumane and I want whoever did this to pay.”We had already spent R20,000 for funeral costs. We had no choice, but to allow the mourners to feast,” he said.

RIP

Source: Dead man’s ‘missing private parts’ spark riot

Related articles: 

Deceased’s missing penis sparks rampage in which angry Limpopo mourners torch 3 houses

Published: August 14, 2019
By: Staff Reported (News 24)

Mourners at a funeral of a 69-year-old man in Blinkwater village outside Giyani in Limpopo went on a rampage on Sunday when they discovered that his private parts were missing, Sowetan reported. 

James Makhubele was reportedly believed to have died in a hit-and-run on August 3, but family members now believe he was the victim of a ritual killing and that his body was thrown on to the road to create the appearance that he had been hit by a car. 

At the funeral, family members inspected Makhubele’s remains and reportedly discovered that body parts were missing. 

This sparked a vigilante attack during which mourners burnt down three houses, one belonging to a man whom they believe to be the suspect and those of two of his employees. 

According to Sowetan, police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said a second post-mortem would be conducted. 

However, a policeman at the local police station reportedly told the newspaper that the first post-mortem did not find that any body parts had been removed. 

Incidents of mob justice continue to flare up throughout the country. 

Last week, News24 reported that two men estimated to be around 30 years old were murdered by groups of people in separate vigilante attacks in the Eastern Cape.

In July, 14 people were arrested in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, for stoning a murder suspect to death.

In the same week, two women were stripped naked and set alight in the Ha-Mashau village in Limpopo. They were suspected of murdering a 12-year-old boy. Two suspects, aged 16 and 17, have been arrested.

and:

Alleged ritual motivated killing sparks violence in Giyani, Limpopo (tv news broadcast – YouTube)

Blinkwater village outside Giyani in Limpopo, South Africa

Nigeria: mutilated dead body found near army checkpoint in Aba (Abia State)

Warning: the article below contains gruesome details of the death of the unknown victim whereas the original article (see Source) contains a graphic photo of the deceased. (webmaster FVDK).  

The mutilated body of the victim

Published: May 23, 2019
By: Ngozi Onwukwe (AbaCityBlog)  

A mutilated dead body of a yet to be identified young man was found on Wednesday morning at the popular Bata Junction, in Aba Abia State.

The body which was found just adjacent of an army checkpoint at Bata Junction has sent residents into deep panic of the presence of ritual killers in town.

The yet to be identified victim on a closer look should be in his late 20s or early 30s before he met his untimely death.His dead body has badly mutilated as he had his intestines chartered and some important parts of his body like private part and heart were also removed by his killers.

Residents said the time of the incident is not known to them, but majority agreed it could be in the wee hours of Wednesday as the body was still fresh as at when we visited the scene.

They said the killing and mutilation of the deceased body has brought more panic to them especially those of them residing around the crime prone Ogbor-Hill axis that links the Bata Junction to Aba main town.

“The way the body was dumped with his private part and heart cut off sends message that ritualists are in town. We are in serious trouble if ritual killers are in this town.

“Everybody is afraid about the problems we have been having with tricycle robbers now that they have started killing and cutting out human parts, we are in deeper trouble,” one of the residents said.

Anyawu Emeka, a Keke riders said, “The issue looks more like money ritual because the place they dumped his body is strategic in this town.

“Bata Junction is like a confluence in Aba because almost everyone entering the main town must pass through here. Honestly, Aba is sinking security wise.”

It was gathered from some residents and commuters that the matter was reported to the nearest police station to the incident, the Eziama Police Division for further actions very early in the morning.

It was also gathered from the residents that officials of the Aba South LGA Environmental Health Department which as gathered has jurisdiction of the area have been informed to come and evacuate of the dead body for evacuation.

“It’s under our jurisdiction. We are aware of it. I’ve been there to observe the place and the deceased is not even a mad person. It’s not an elderly. It’s a young man.

“I don’t know what really happened there. It police will carry out their investigation and also we expect that through media, the family members might be reached to come.

“If it is is there till tomorrow morning, we’ll handle it. Nobody has identified the corpse for now. We cannot allow it to be a public nuisance. We cannot allow it to decompose there. We’ll handle it by tomorrow if nobody comes in for it today,” she said.

When contacted, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, the Public Relations Officer of Abia State Police Command said he is not aware of the incident as he has not been briefed about it.

Source: Mutilated dead body found near army checkpoint in Aba

Related article: Abia CP vows to investigate suspected ritual killing in Aba
Published: May 22, 2019
By: The Eagle Online 

Police Commissioner in Abia, Ene Okon, has vowed to unravel culprits involved in the murder and removal of the body parts of a young man in Aba on Tuesday night.
Okon made the vow in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba on Wednesday.
He said: “The information I heard was that the man was a mentally deranged person but the removal of his parts is what I do not understand.
“If they are now removing the body parts of lunatics for rituals, that is adding another dimension to criminality which is very strange and which Operation Puff Adder will work towards that area.
“Rest assured that we will investigate that murder because although the report I heard was that the man was a lunatic, even a lunatic cannot just die like that so we are going to investigate it.”
The sighting of the young man’s lifeless body with heart and private part removed threw Aba residents into panic Wednesday as they suspected the style of murder signaled the return of ritual killers to Aba.
The body of the yet-to-be identified young man was discovered early in the morning by traders going to the market and was dumped at Bata Junction faced down.
The young man, who should be in his early 30s, had his intestines pulled out from the belly and some other parts missing in the style, residents said, was akin to ritual killing.
A source, who refused to be named, said the killing of the young man with his traveling bag beside him may have happened in the late hours of Tuesday or early hours of Wednesday.
The source said: “I tell you, this kind of killing which showed the parts of this young man harvested, has caused me to shiver and fear because if this kind of thing is to return to Aba, then we are in big trouble.
“Who will chase after them? Who can stop them?
“Robbers have been robbing and killing people with tricycles even near police and military checkpoints and nothing has happened, tell me how can we be safe in this city with ritualists?”
Emeka Anyawu, a tricycle riders said: “The issue looks more like money ritual because the place they dumped his body is strategic in this town.
“Bata Junction is like a confluence in Aba because almost everyone entering the main town must pass through here. Honestly, Aba is sinking, security wise.”
NAN learnt that the matter was reported to the nearest police station which is Eziama Police station and also the Aba South Environmental Health department in the morning.
However, the corpse remained at the center of the junction till late Wednesday although it had been covered with cellophane material.
When contacted, the Head of Department, Environmental Health, Aba South LGA,  Onyinyechi Nwigwe said she had inspected the corpse but cannot order removal because it required police approval.
Nwigwe also stated that if no member of the victim’s family showed up to evacuate his body, the health office would then do their work.
She said: “It is under our jurisdiction; we are aware of it; I have been there to observe the place and the deceased is not even a mad person; he is a young man.
“I don’t know what really happened there. It is the police that will carry out investigation and we expect that through the media, the family members might be reached.
“If it remains there till tomorrow morning, we will handle it. Nobody has identified the corpse for now.
“We cannot allow it to become a public nuisance. We cannot allow it to decompose there. We’ll handle it by tomorrow if nobody comes in for it today.”

Source: Abia CP vows to investigate suspected ritual killing in Aba

Abia State – Nigeria 

Sierra Leone: Albinism Awareness Day celebrations

This posting is NOT about ritual killings of people with albinism in Sierra Leone. It contains a public lecture by Rashid Dumbuya on the occasion of Albinism Awareness Day celebrations in this West Africa Country. However, also in Sierra Leone people with albinism face discrimination and barriers that limit their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.

In Sierra Leone, people with albinism are considered people with disabilities. Rashid Dumbuya concludes his public lecture with a number of recommendations to improve the position of people with albinism in Sierra Leone. (webmaster FVDK)

The picture presented here is not related to the article  below on people living with albinism in Sierra Leone

Published: June 19, 2019
By: The Patriotic Vanguard (Sierra Leone)

Albinism Awareness Day Celebrations in Sierra Leone

Public lecture by Rashid Dumbuya Esq

Them: Still standing strong; realizing the rights of Persons with Albinism in Sierra Leone.

General introduction

Due to the immense challenges that were being faced by persons with albinism coupled with the increased momentum and outcry for their protection across the world, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in 2013 (A/HRC/RES/23/13) calling for the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism around the world.

Consequently, on the 18th December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly heeded to the call and adopted Resolution 69/170 proclaiming 13th June as International Albinism Awareness Day.

Following this Resolution, the UN Human Rights Council on the 26 of March 2015 in resolution 28/6 established the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.

The work of the Independent Expert among many other things as provided in its mandate is to engage in dialogue and consult with States and other relevant stakeholders; to identify, exchange and promote good practices relating to the realization of the rights of persons with albinism and their participation as equal members of society; to promote and report on developments, challenges and obstacles relating to the realization of the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism and to make recommendations in that regard to the Human Rights Council.

On 3 July 2015, the Human Rights Council appointed Ms. Ero of Nigeria as the first mandate holder and Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.

She assumed her duties on 1st August 2015 and in January 2016, she submitted her first report on Albinism to the UN Human Rights Council.

STILL STANDING STRONG has been chosen as the international theme for this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day Celebrations.

The theme is a call to recognize, celebrate and stand in solidarity with persons with Albinism around the world, to support their cause, their accomplishments as well as their challenges and to promote and protect their fundamental human rights.

LEGAL LINK is therefore proud to have associated and collaborated with the Sierra Leone Association of Persons with Albinism in commemorating this historic and symbolic day here today in Sierra Leone.

But why does the UN mark international days like this?

International days have been embraced by the UN because it affords an occasion to educate the world on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems; and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.

They also serve as powerful advocacy tool to draw attention and make strong case for reforms.

What is Albinism?

Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited condition that affects people worldwide regardless of ethnicity or gender.

It results from a significant deficit in the production of melanin and is characterized by the partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. In order for a person to be affected by albinism, both parents must carry the gene and, in that case, there is a 25per cent chance that a child will be born with albinism at each pregnancy.

What are the prevailing statistics on Albinism across the world?

The proportion of persons affected by albinism in the world differs from region to region.

In North America and Europe, it is estimated that 1 in 17,000 to 20,000 people are affected by the condition, while in sub-Saharan Africa,1 in 5,000 to 15,000 could be affected, with specific countries having a much higher tendency, including estimated rates of 1 in 1,400, and about 1 in 20 persons in the general population carrying the gene for albinism.

Other studies suggest that in specific groups in Panama or in the Pacific region, the rate of people affected could be as high as 1 in 70 to 1 in 125.13.

However, in Sierra Leone, a report done by OSIWA in 2018 puts the statistics at a little over 500 people affected by albinism.

What are the different types of albinism?

Albinism is of different types. The most common and visible type is oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), which affects the skin, the hair and the eyes.

Within this type, there are subtypes, which reflect varying degrees of melanin pigment deficiency in an individual.

The main subtypes of OCA are tyrosinase negative albinism (OCA1) and tyrosinase positive albinism (OCA2).

In OCA1, there is little or no production of melanin and it is often characterized by white hair and opaque or transparent irises.

In OCA2, which is more prevalent particularly in African countries, some melanin is produced and it is characterized by yellow-blonde or sandy-coloured hair and grey to light brown irises.

A less common form of albinism is ocular albinism which affects the eyes alone, while albinism accompanied by Hermansky-Pudlak syndromeis is another less common form, which is characterized by bleeding disorders, bowel (colitis) and lung diseases.

*What are the legal frameworks protecting the rights of persons with albinism?*

At the International level: 

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsUnited Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism.

All of the above international frameworks promotes equality and non-discrimination.

At the African regional level:

  • The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights
  • The Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa
  • Resolution by the Pan African Parliament to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of attacks on persons with Albinism

At the domestic level:

  • The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone – (talks about protection from discrimination)
  • The Sierra Leone Disability Act of 2011.- (classify them generally as PWD’s)
  • The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities
  • The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone -(promote and protect their rights)
  • Sierra Leone Association for persons with Albinism- (umbrella body in SL)

Challenges and areas of concern

Persons with albinism face discrimination and barriers that restrict their participation in society on an equal basis with others every day.

Due to those many challenges, persons with albinism throughout the world are unable to enjoy the full range of human rights and the same standards of equality, rights and dignity as others.

While some of those challenges are global, others have predominantly been identified in certain regions.

In the Independent Expert’s report of 2016, some of the challenges identified include human rights violations such as attacks, desecration of graves, trafficking of body parts, displacement, discrimination against persons with albinism, as well as human rights violations based on disabilities, deprivation of the right to the highest attainable standard of health and the right to education.

1. Witchcraft and related offences

It has been widely reported and documented that persons with albinism are hunted and physically attacked due to prevailing myths such as the misbelief that their body parts, when used in witchcraft rituals and potions or amulets, will induce wealth, good luck and political success.

Other dangerous myths that facilitate the perpetration of attacks are those linked to perceptions of their appearance, including misbeliefs and myths that persons with albinism are not human beings, but ghosts, that they are subhuman and that they do not die, but disappear.

An increase of those attacks, referred to as “ritual attacks”, has been reported by to have been high in Africa especially during periods of political elections.

2. Brutal and deadly nature of the Attacks on PWA’s

In Africa, it is reported that, attacks directed at persons with albinism are usually carried out with machetes, resulting in severe mutilation or death.

In most cases, the persons attacked are dismembered; body parts such as fingers, arms, legs, eyes, genitals, skin, bones, the head and hair have been severed from the body and taken. In several of those cases, body parts have been hacked off while the person was alive.

Reportedly, there is a corollary witchcraft belief that it is preferable to harvest body parts from live victims because screams increase the potency of the potion for which the parts are used.

Since 2007, civil society organizations have reported hundreds of attacks against persons with albinism in 25 countries.

All of those physical attacks appear to be, at least in part, related to the erroneous beliefs and myths linked to witchcraft practices.

3. Lucrative Trade and markets for the body parts of persons with albinism.*

It has been reported that there is a market for body parts of persons with albinism. The body parts are reportedly sold both locally and across borders.

The prices of body parts reportedly range from $2,000 for a limb to $75,000 for a “complete set” or a corpse. Civil society reports indicate that, motivated by those prices, family members and communities have sold, or attempted to sell, persons with albinism, thereby fuelling the supply side of this macabre trade.

Recent cases of body-parts trafficking that were brought to the attention of the Independent Expert by civil society include cases where law enforcement agencies acted promptly and were able to prevent the sale and save the persons with albinism involved.

In a few other cases, however, the body parts were harvested and have still not been recovered.

4. Forced migration

Attacks against persons with albinism in some areas have caused hundreds of persons, particularly women and children, to flee their homes and seek refuge in temporary shelters.

Most of these shelters were neither designed nor prepared for an influx of persons with albinism, and are also not equipped to address the special needs of persons with albinism. Reports show that inhabitants with albinism are exposed to early skin cancer risk and various forms of abuse.

5. Discrimination and stigmatization

One of the main barriers to the implementation of the human rights of persons with albinism is discrimination and stigmatization, both of which are historically and culturally entrenched. Information on discrimination against persons with albinism is a common reality around the world. However, the expression and severity of the discrimination faced by persons with albinism vary from region to region.

In sub Saharan Africa in particular, bullying of school-age children owing to their appearance is on the increase.

Also, discrimination takes more extreme forms, including infanticide, physical threats and attacks.

Lack of information on the condition facilitates the spread of myths to explain albinism, most of which are erroneous and in some cases dangerous, including myths that people with albinism are ghosts or the result of conception during menstruation or the result of a general curse.

Challenges faced by persons with albinism in Sierra Leone

Though not severe and deadly like those encountered in East and Southern parts of Africa, Persons with Albinism (PWA) in Sierra Leone also face huge challenges in the realization of their rights.

Firstly, they have been largely excluded and sometimes forgotten by government, civil society, donors and development partners in the democratic and governance agenda of the country. Issues affecting them have generally gone unnoticed and has resulted to deep engraved stigma, exclusion, discrimination and sometimes violence against them.

Furthermore, they have little or no voice compared to other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities, children and women.

Also, there is little activism on the part of civil society as well people living with the condition to advocate for the promotion and protection of their rights and wellbeing which may be a consequence of lack of knowledge and understanding and/or interest.

Other challenges include access to justice, education, health, employment and even political representation in the democratic governance architecture of the country.

More negative still, the lack of effective, functional and genuine bodies, organizations or CSO’s in Sierra Leone to help advocate on the rights of PWA’s has also left them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous persons and organizations.

Finally, the challenges encountered by Persons with Albinism in Sierra Leone could be best summarized in the words of the Founder and Executive Director of Sierra Leone Association for Persons with Albinism, Mohamed Osman Kamara aka Jay Marvel, as posted on their Facebook page.

*‘’We Demand Action to be taken Now! We Crying Since Yesterday Night…… About the Demise Of Mahid Jalloh, Who Was Also Admitted At Connaught For Skin Cancer With The Late Ruth. He Was Transfered To The Shepherd Hospital At Tombo. There He Passed Away On The 23rd At Around 12:00pm. We Are Calling On the Sierra Leone Government, And All Organizations Around the World… Skin Cancer Is Killing Us. These Are Just The Two ( 2) Known Cases.. Who Knows How Many Persons With Albinism Are Dying From Skin Cancer In The Country? , Because We Lack Proper Health Care. This is a Serious National Issue. Every Citizen Should Be Concerned and Try in His or Her Own Way.!!! Ministry Of Health, National Commission For Persons With Disability, Ministry Of Social Welfare Children and Gender Affairs etc YOU SHOULD TAKE THE LEAD IN THIS CASE! Rest In Peace Our Beloved Brother! We Love You Both and Pray the Government Puts An End To Skin Cancer Affecting Persons With Albinism In Sierra Leone.!’’*

Recommendations

From the above points raised, it stands to reason that human right abuses and violations of the rights of persons with albinism is still commonplace in Sierra Leone.

*LEGAL LINK* therefore joins the Sierra Leone Association for Persons with Albinism in calling on the government of Sierra Leone to adopt and implement the Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa as well as the newly adopted resolution by the Pan African Parliament to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of attacks on persons with albinism and further ensure effective education and awareness training on the human rights of people with albinism.
Also, we call on the government and Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone to pass a specific law that will adequately protect the rights of albinism in the country.

Furthermore, we call on the government to ensure that victims and members of their families have access to appropriate remedies.

More significantly, we call on the government, the human rights commission, the National Commission for persons with disabilities and other civil societies organizations with human rights mandate to increase education and public awareness-raising activities on the rights of persons with albinism so as to deconstruct stereotypes and existing myths.

We further call on government to ensure that PWA’s are not discriminated in schools and are provided with scholarship support to pursue their education to the highest of levels. Free healthcare for PWA’s must also be guaranteed so as to help address the problem of skin cancer.

The Government of Sierra Leone should also ensure that PWA’s are included in the three arms of government as well as the public service and other sectors crucial for the running of the affairs of the state. This will help to de- mystify myths and erroneous beliefs about PWA’s not being human.

Finally, inclusion of information on the situation of persons with albinism in reports submitted by the Government of Sierra Leone to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights under article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and also to the UN Human Rights Council under the UPR, is good practice in the protecting and promoting of the rights of persons with albinism.

Conclusion

Persons with Albinism have faced and continue to face, ongoing hurdles and challenges that seriously undermine their enjoyment of fundamental human rights in Sierra Leone and the world at large. From stigma and discrimination, to barriers of access to health and education as well as marginalization from socio-political and democratic institutions in the country.

In addition, PWA’s have also become subjects of attacks for ritual killings and political power in many parts of Africa.

But despite all of these challenges, PWA’S have remained undaunted and are STILL STNDING STRONG!
WE CAN DO BETTER FOR THEM BY ACCEPTING THEM AS HUMAN BEINGS THAT DESERVES TO LIVE, ENJOY EQUAL RIGHTS, DIGNITY AND RESPECT WITH US!

Thank You

Rashid Dumbuya ESQ

Executive Director – LEGAL LEGAL LINK

Christian Lawyers Centre (a.k.a LEGAL LINK) is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Sierra Leone as a non-profit legal advocacy group comprising of lawyers, law students and human right activists that seeks to provide legal assistance to religious communities and vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone through legal advocacy, public interest litigations, state and private sector accountability, enforcement of the rule of law and respect for domestic and international laws that guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Source: Sierra Leone: Albinism Awareness Day celebrations