Several Nigerian states (Osun, Ondo, Rivers) have enacted laws making it possible for judges to pronounce the death sentence for a specified number of crimes. Osun State is one of them. Ritualistic murders occur frequently in this southeastern state. Among the crimes mentioned in the law which carry the capital punishment when found guilty is murder committed for the purpose of a ‘money ritual’, as ritualistic murders are called in Africa’s most populated country.
More than one Nigerian state faces this phenomenon which seems difficult to eradicate. In my view it will not be eradicated by any severe jail sentence, not even by the capital punishment. The only solution is education, to instruct people that superstition does not lead to success, power or wealth. Nonetheless, the rule of law must apply and perpetrators of heinous crimes must pay for their deeds. (webmaster FVDK).
Ritual killing: Man sentenced to death by hanging
Published: July 7, 2020 By: The News, Nigeria
An Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife on Tuesday sentenced a 37- year-old man, Ogunyemi Oluleke, to death by hanging for murder.
Oluleke was arraigned on March 6, 2013 on two-count charge of murder and conspiracy to murder contrary to Sections 319 and 324 of Criminal Code, Laws of Osun State.
The offences were allegedly committed at Iredunmi area of Ile-Ife and at Oketase area in Ile-Ife around 10:00 a.m on Feb. 17, 2010.
At about 10:00am on Feb. 17, 2010, one Moshood Babalola was killed by cutting off his head with knife at Iredunmi area, ile-ife.
Mr Babalola Sikiru lodged the complaint of his lost son (Moshood Babalola) at More Police Station, Ile-Ife, on Feb. 18, 2010.
The Prosecution Counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Lawyer Tijani Adekilekun, called five witlessness and rendered several exhibits to prove the case.
Adekilekun also informed the court through one of his witnesses, Insp. Rasheedat Olanrewaju, that she was among the three policemen that went to a village in Agbedegbede area.
Olarewaju said that her team went to the house of the convict for a search and during the search, they saw decomposed body of one person in the convict’s house.
In his additional statement after the discovery of deceased corpse in his house on Feb., 2010, Ogunyemi confessed that he killed Moshood Babalola for rituals.
Justice Adedotun Onibokun found the accused guilty of the charges preferred against him.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Olalekan Banjo, pleaded to the court to temper justice with mercy, claiming that his client was a first offender.
Another case, maybe not of a ritual murder, but of parents who fear that their child has become victim of a ritual murder. We always have to be careful in labelling a murder as a ritualistic act based on superstition, but it is striking that as soon as a mutilated body has been found local people think of a ritualistic killing. A very telling signal. One of their basic human rights is the right to live without fear. For this reason I have included the case below. (webmaster FVDK).
Uasin Gishu police arrest five following rape and murder of children
Published: July 7, 2020 By: Daily Nation, Kenya – Titus Ominde
Police in Moi’s Bridge have arrested five people on suspicion of being serial killers and defilers.
Five children have been found murdered in the town in seven months.
The arrests came after protests by Nominated Ward Representative Belinda Tirop and area residents.
Locals say the crimes could be linked to ritual killings.
Uasin Gishu county police chief Johnston Ipara praised the residents of Soy Sub-County for providing information that led to the arrests.
He added that more people would be arrested and prosecuted.
MISSING FOR A MONTH
The county police boss said the five have already appeared in court as police pursue two other people still at large.
“Detectives on the ground are gathering crucial information to link the pair to the ones who have already been arrested,” he said.
Early in the year, a man and his daughter were arraigned for the murder of a 12-year-old girl.
The two were freed when the prosecution said it could not link them to the heinous crime.
Mr Ipara said those freed by courts are still being investigated.
“We have not given up on the suspects. They could be rearrested,” the county police commander said.
Two weeks ago, the mutilated body of Grace Njeri, who had been missing for a month, was found in a thicket.
This was the fifth child killing in six months.
On December 31, Ms Sharon Sakwa’s daughter was killed in a similar fashion.
The girl, Stacy Nabiswa, was a Standard Five pupil.
She disappeared on New Year’s Eve and her body found near the railway line the following day.
Ms Sakwa accused police of doing little to apprehend the perpetrators of the crimes.
Thirteen-year-old Lucy Wanjiru was defiled and killed on January 16.
Her mother, a greengrocer, was at the market when the murder occurred.
FREED FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE
Wanjiru’s stepfather was arrested but released later due to lack of evidence.
The girl was a Standard Six pupil at Moi Township Primary School.
Two weeks ago, local leaders and residents held a demonstration on the Kitale-Eldoret road to protest the killings. They accused security agents of doing little to stop them.
In response to the protests, Mr Ipara urged residents to provide information that would lead to arrests and prosecutions.
Mr Ipara, however, challenged parents to monitor their children.
“Let us be responsible and watchful if we are to eradicate these incidents,” Mr Ipara said.
He advised families to ensure children do not go to the shop or market unaccompanied.
I’ve hesitated to include the article below on this blog – partly because of the gruesome nature of the described act, partly because of the graphic description of the treatment, obviously a form of torture, which family members inflicted upon a girl they accused of witchcraft and being responsible for the death of an uncle.
Eventually I decided to reproduce the article here and to share it with a larger audience. The reason why I choose to do so is because witchcraft lies at the bottom of their repulsive behavior. This site is focusing on superstition and everything which relates to it in a criminal way: ritualistic acts, ritual murders, ‘money rituals’ (Nigeria), muti murders (in Southern Africa), and – indeed – witchcraft. The fact that the ultimate victim, a young and innocent girl, was maltreated and tortured was another reason for drawing attention to this incident. Unfortunately, rape is a daily crime in Liberia and most perpetrators get away with their crimes. In Liberia, impunity seems to be the rule, and not the rule of law.
Therefore, again a warning: the following article contains graphic details of a form of torture (webmaster FVDK).
Liberia: Adolescent Girl Sodomized After Being Thrown Out for Witchcraft
Published: July 3, 2020 By: FrontPage Africa
MONROVIA – A girl believed in her late teens has been sexually assaulted in her anus after she was thrown out of her family in Omega Tower Community on accusation on her beingwitchcraft.
According to a source close to the family, the incident occurred on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 night when she was asleep.
The girl (name withheld) was discovered early Wednesday morning lying helpless on the main road that links Montserrado to Margibi, crying for rescue.
Some community members felt pity for her, took her from the street, gave her food and water. They at the same time called the Women and Children Division of the Liberia National Police to take the survivor to hospital for treatment.
Her current condition has left community members blaming her family for neglecting her and throwing her out of the house after alleging that she confessed killing her 25 years old uncle (name withheld) in May of this year after a brief period of illness.
A family source interviewed by this paper narrated that after the death of the uncle, the survivor and her partners were tortured and beaten badly on grounds that they are responsible for his death. This, according to the source, caused her mother and father to escape with her other siblings leaving her at the mercy of the family.
“During the night when her uncle died,” the eyewitness said, “that child was beaten by his family and a man who claimed to be a big man in the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) at which time they broke one of her legs.”
“After all the torture, they still threw her out of the house, they forgot to even take into consideration the danger it poses to her health, not only the aspect of rape.”
“I do not know why people find pleasure in accusing innocent children of the act of witchcraft when, in fact, there is no way they can prove their accusations,” the eyewitness said in pity.
The eyewitness said after the death of the survivor’s uncle the family members brought a native doctor who said that girl and her partners were responsible for his death.
“After the native doctor was brought here, the family said that the girl confessed that she and her partners killed her uncle because he means them with food,” the eyewitness said.
The eyewitness expressed deep frustration in said aptitude adding that “I do not know who the man that did such a wicked act to a child in such condition.”
According to the eyewitness, the LNP Children Division was able to take the child to the hospital.
“What we are praying for now is not just the treatment of the child but an investigation being done to bring the perpetrator to justice and even the family because they were the ones who exposed her to such danger.”
In Liberia, rape has become the order of the day with few out of many girls who have suffered such horrible acts from their male counterparts are lucky to get the needed justice.
With many perpetrators understanding that the justice system is very weak, they go ahead to sexually abused girls and walk in the street with impunity.
The articles reproduced below show the perversity of ritual murders in Nigeria, usually for purposes of ‘money rituals’. Ritual murderers, who resort to human sacrifices to become rich or famous, are criminals, there is no doubt about it. What happens nowadays in Nigeria, and also in other Sub-Saharan countries where notably albino people are targeted, shows even a different kind of ritual murderers. They kill purely for material gain, to sell human body parts thus obtained. A repulsive practice, which in this case is based on the superstition of the buyer of the body parts. A crucial role is played by the ritualist or traditional doctor, the witch doctor, as is shown by the articles below. They should all be locked up, but – even more important – people should be educated that there is no place for superstition in the 21st century. (webmaster FVDK)
How I killed children, sold their body parts to ritualists – Suspect confesses
Published: July 3, 2020 By: Daily Post Nigeria – Fikayo Owololagba
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Oyo State Command, has arrested a 29-year-old, suspect over alleged kidnapping and murder.
The suspect was arrested after the police received a tip-off from commercial motorcycle riders around the area.
The command’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Olufemi Adetunji, disclosed this to newsmen on Friday, at the NIS office, Agodi-Gate, Ibadan, while handing over the suspect to the police command in the state.
The suspect whose identity was not revealed in an interview with NAN confessed that he was not only involved in duping, but also in kidnapping and selling of human parts to ritualists.
He confessed that he enticed children with biscuits on the streets and lured them into their cars.
The suspect, a resident of Beere, Oje area in Ibadan was a member of a gang of nine, comprised of two females and seven males that carry out operations.
He added that he had killed at least two children, and sold their parts to suspected ritualists.
“We have a car which we use for kidnapping. We buy biscuits and other things and keep them in the car, which we used to entice the children.
“Anytime we see little children walking on the road unaccompanied by an adult, we entice them with biscuits and quickly put them in the car and zoom off.
“We later kill the kidnapped children and sell their parts to the ritualists,” he added.
‘We kill children, sell their body parts’ – suspect confesses as he was arrested by Immigration officer
Published: July 3, 2020 By: Opera News
The Nigerian Immigration services has arrested a 29-year-old suspect, Lekan Raheem, for killing and selling children’s body parts to ritualists. After his arrest, the suspects confessed that his gang had killed some children and sold their body parts for ritual purposes. According to the suspect, the Ritualist require the body parts for ritual purposes.
The suspect made the confession to the Nigerian Immigration services after being interogated. After the confession, he was handed over to the police. According to the confessional statement of the suspect, him and his gang usually lure innocent children with biscuits and kidnapped them.
The suspect confessed that he was not only involved in duping people, but he also kidnapped, kill and selling human parts to ritualists. According to reports, the suspect lives at Oje area of Ibadan. The gang members includes 9 members including 2 females and 7 males.
The suspect went on to say that anytime his gang members see little children walking alone, they lure them with biscuits. The children are quickly dragged into their car and they quickly take them away. The Oyo State Nigerian Immigration services Public Relations Officer, Olufemi Adetunji disclosed that the suspect was arrested following a tip off by some people.
Akinyele killings: hunters arrest suspect with seven white handkerchiefs, dangerous weapons
Published: June 28, 2020 By: New Telegraph, Nigeria – Sola Adeyemo, Ibadan
Some local hunters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Sunday arrested one person, said to have confessed to the killing of eight persons, suspected to be in connection with incessant ritual killings in the Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.
New Telegraph learnt that seven white handkerchiefs and some dangerous weapons, such as a knife and an axe, were found in possession of the suspect.
The local hunters were said to have arrested the suspect at Liberty area of Sasa Sunday morning while watching over many communities in the local government as a result of the killings recent killings that have consumed five persons with a month.
He was taken to Sasa Police Station, and subsequently transferred to Ojoo Divisional Police Headquarters. The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, confirmed the arrest, saying investigation would reveal his true identity and people that have been working with him to commit the crime.
One of the caretaker chairmen in Akinyele Local Government, who preferred anonymity, said: “Having profiled the suspect, he is from the Eastern part of the country, and he claims he attends a white garment church.”
Another resident said “While the suspect was being interrogated, he confessed that he had been involved in eight killings recently in the local government and his last killing was at Sasa area, where he said he murdered a lady.
“He has so far been handed over to the Nigeria Police for further investigation, while work is still ongoing to fish out other perpetrators.”
Nigeria ranks Number One in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) when it comes to ritual murders (locally referred to as ‘money rituals’) – and not only because this West African nation is SSA’s most populated country. Nevertheless, I was astonished reading about the number of recent ritual killings in some of Nigeria’s main cities. In Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, in less than four weeks, beginning from June 1 of this year, at least five persons were savagely murdered by suspected ritual killers. One of the victims was a five-year old boy. Also in August 2019, ritual murders had been reported, with six victims within one month in the same Akinyele Local Government Area. Consequently, the population of Ibadan lives in fear, everyday, of becoming victim of the suspected ritual killers, despite the assurances of the police and governmental authorities and the attention of traditional rulers for these heinous crimes.
As one of the local chiefs stated: “The way the killers have been operating left me with no option than to believe that they are killing for money rituals.”
Warning: the following article contains graphic details (webmaster FVDK).
Ibadan – City of blood Fear, anxiety in Ibadan over ritual killings • Police, government assure residents
Published: June 27, 2020 By: The Sun, Voice of the Nation- Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ibadan is fast turning into a city of blood, no thanks to a yet-to-be-apprehended group of ritual killers that invaded the city recently and left in their wake a long trail of blood of victims. The affected local government district, Akinyele Local Government Area, is currently under a siege. In less than four weeks, beginning from June 1, 2020, at least, five persons had been killed by suspected ritual killers in different communities of the local government.
Understandably, the development has sent shivers down the spines of residents of one of the 11 local governments that makes up Ibadan, the state capital, and one of the 33 local government areas of the state. The local government, which has 12 wards, was created in 1976 and occupies a land area of 464.892 square kilometres with a population density of 516 persons per square kilometre.
Experts have said that using 3.2 per cent growth rate from 2006 National Population Census figures, the 2010 estimated population for the local government has been estimated to be 239,745. It hosts notable institutions including International Institute of Tropical Agricultural (IITA) at Idi-Ose; Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) at Ojoo, Federal School of Statistics at Ajibode Road; 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army and reasonable percentage of the University of Ibadan land.
A spate of mysterious killings
Since the first ritual killing that took place on June 1, 2020, at Akinyele town, the ritual killings have been consistent. The June 1 incident involved Miss Baraka Bello, a female student of the Department of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT), Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Moor Plantation, Ibadan. She was reportedly raped before being killed. The killers, operating in a way that is reminiscent of the infamous Badoo Boys, were said to have smashed her head at the back of her father’s house at Oloro area of Kara in Akinyele town.
On June 5, 2020, ritualists also smashed the head of 29-year-old woman, Mrs. Azeezat Somuyiwa, with a big stone, at Ijefun community, near Ojoo. She was said to be seven month pregnant at the time of killing.
On Saturday June 13, 2020, a National Diploma student of Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State, Grace Oshiagwu, 21, was raped and killed inside a church at Idi Ori, Sasa, Ojoo area of Ibadan.
On Monday, June 22, 2020, five-year-old boy, Mujib Tirimisiyu, was killed by ritual killers, who reportedly hit his head with a shovel at Olorunsogo Phase II, Tose, Moniya, Ibadan. He suffered the fate while he was allegedly defecating behind their house. His loud shout attracting the attention of his mother to rush to where he was defecating. On getting there, she saw some boys dragging his lifeless body into the bush. On sighting her, the attackers reportedly dropped the corpse and fled.
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, the life of 42-year-old woman, Mrs. Olusayo Fagbemi, residing at Ajibade Street, Sasa, Ibadan, was cruelly cut short by ritual killers. She was allegedly attacked while she washed plates in front of her residence on that Wednesday morning. And, the assailants were said to have hit her on the head, with either a shovel or a cutlass.
On being hit with the weapon, she shouted. This made her husband to rush out from their room. On getting outside, he met his wife in a pool of her own blood. The attackers reportedly took to their heels the moment they sighted her husband and other alamed residents of the house, rushing out. The woman was said to have been rushed to a private hospital for medical attention to save her life. But unfortunately, she could not make it. She was confirmed as ‘brought in dead’ (BID) in the hospital.
Police reassure residents, amid fear
A climate of fear now exists among the natives as no one knows who could be the next victim or when detectives could crack open the conundrum of ritual killings ravaging the community and help bring rest to restless minds. A resident of Sasa, who agreed to speak on the promise of his name not being used in print, blamed suspected ritualists as being behind the incessant killings in the local government area.
“I don’t want my name to be mentioned because those evil people may be residing in the same community with us, and I don’t want them to zero in on my family,” he said. “I think communities should set up vigilance groups to address this ugly trend. Also, the security agencies and the state government should halt the incessant killings in this local government area.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the death of the five persons, said the police, who he said, are already on the trail of the assailants, have already commenced investigations. Confirming the incident that occurred at about 5:40am on June 24, 2020, he said the deceased “was attacked right at the frontage of her house while she washed plates and she sustained injury on her head. At her shout, her husband rushed out and met her in the pool of her blood, while the assailant(s) ran away. She was rushed to a hospital where she was confirmed dead. Efforts are being intensified to apprehend the culprits as the Police is on their trail.”
Fadeyi who confirmed that some arrests have been made, assured that efforts are being made to nip the incessant killings in the bud. He explained that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, and Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Benue States, had visited Akinyele and have been working assiduously to arrest the situation.
Speculations on the cause of killings
Meanwhile, some residents of the local governments have accused some landlords and village heads (Baales) of either letting their houses or selling their land to suspected ‘Yahoo Boys’ or ‘Badoo Boys’ who have in turn been decided to terrorize the local government. A middle-aged man, who did not want his name mentioned in print said he warned many of the village heads then, but they did not heed his words because of pecuniary purpose.
This correspondent had, in August 2019, exclusively reported two stories in the Daily Sun, about how ritual killers resurfaced in Ibadan, after a similar development was nipped in the bud at Ikorodu in Lagos. It was reported then that at least six persons were dispatched to their early graves within one month. They killed all the six victims then in the same Akinyele Local Government.
Then, the first reported incident occurred at Abatakan, near Ojoo where four persons were said to have been killed. The second and third reported cases happened at Fatokun in Moniya and Olomowewe in Akingbile, on Saturday August 24, 2019. One person each were reportedly killed in the two places. The three incidents followed the same pattern as the assailants, operating like the Badoo Boys that once terrorized Ikorodu, Lagos, were said to have struck their targets at about 10 a.m. The killers, it was gathered, used grinding stones to smash the heads of their victims, and handkerchiefs to wipe their blood before taking their leave, without stealing anything from their victims.
Lawmaker’s advice on how to stay safe
The recent resurgence has filled the residents with déjà vu. Their leaders assure that this time around they are up in arms. Chairman, Oyo State House of Assembly Parliamentary Council, Ayotunde Fatokun, and the member representing Akinyele Constituency I, told Saturday Sun: “On the issue of ritual killings in Akinyele Local Government, we are trying to do a number of things to ensure that the phenomenon is curbed. In terms of security, we appreciate Governor Seyi Makinde for his efforts and for moving the Special Adviser on Security to the local government to see things for himself and have a first-hand view of what is going on there.
“Many arrests have been made in the last couple of weeks on the incessant killings. But the new killings have shown to us that there are more than one group involved. And efforts are ongoing to ensure that we bring the perpetrators of the evil to book. Most importantly, one major concern as the lawmaker representing the constituency is to enlighten my people on basic security tips and steps they should take to ensure that we are able to curb this menace in no time. Of course, I will like to advise people that they should stop staying outside alone and that they should ensure that they are in company of somebody to guide against eventualities.
“For houses that are close to the bush, we should clear the bushes in order to make it uneasy for these perpetrators of evil to get in and out of residences of people, and also make it uneasy for them to run away. If you are inside the house, let us ensure that we lock our doors. If we notice anything, let us make calls so that something can be done. You may need to shout for your neighbours to come to your aid. If you are able to reach your phone, you can call the 615 Emergency Number of Oyo State, so that security agencies can attend to you promptly.”
Traditional rulers speak on security measures
Speaking on the scary insecurity issue, Alakinyele of Akinyele, Oba James Odeniran, in a chat with Saturday Sun, said: “I must confess to you that we have to subscribe to the fact that the people that are committing the crime are living within our local government. That is why as one of the steps being taken, we have resolved that the issue of landlords and tenants relations should be taken into consideration. At the landlord association’s level, they should be able to know where their tenants come from, the jobs they are doing, know whether they have means of livelihood and know if they are working.
“Also, based on the name of the name of this council, people have found it difficult to differentiate between Akinyele Local Government Area and Akinyele town, with regard to the incessant killings in the area. I want to say it categorically here that apart from that of Barakat Bello, all other incidents were not from Akinyele town. As a result of these incidents, people are now afraid of coming to Akinyele town. I want to say to the whole world that there is relative peace in Akinyele town now. We have taken some steps when the incident of Barakat occurred to ensure adequate security in Akinyele town.”
The Oniroko of Iroko, Oba Olasunkanmi Abioye, believes that if the ritual killings have something to do with the alleged sale of land to the so-called Yahoo Boys, it is not so in his domain. “As far as my own town is concerned, there is no land that was sold to ‘Yahoo Boys,” he said. “But these developing areas like Moniya and Ojoo, if you get there, you would find ‘Yahoo boys’ there. The way they behave and the amount they pay to rent houses in those areas is something else. They can rent a flat for N450,000 per year. Is the money available in circulation like that?
“On this development, we should warn landlords and the Baales about accommodating these people in their houses and communities. The baales and Kabiyesis should be vigilant. They should not sit in their houses or palaces without taking actions. They should go round their domains and get people that should be giving them information about their domains. They should not sit down and expect people to come to them and give them envelopes, and many things. What we need in Akinyele Local Government now is to watch out for those ‘Yahoo Boys’ because they are too many in our local government areas now.”
One of the village heads in the local government, the Alagbagi of Agbagi, Chief Babatunde Fabunmi, said he did not believe that the people perpetrating the evil are ‘Yahoo Boys,’ who bought land from Baales. “The baales could have sold land to people, irrespective of whether you hail from this local government or this state or not,” he said. “To fish out the killers, we should not focus only on those we sold our land to. The evil people could also be among our own people from this local government. God is the only ultimate judge.
“The way the killers have been operating left me with no option than to believe that they are killing for money rituals. They would use dangerous objects to break the heads of their victims and would use white handkerchiefs to collect their blood and run away with it. I must tell you that in our different communities, we have put strong security measures in place, with the support of the government. I can tell you that in Ikereku area now, the government has beefed up the presence of security personnel there. If you are passing through Ikereku now, no matter your personality, the security agents would stop you and do thorough search of your vehicle before they allow you to go.”
LG chairman thanks Gov. Makinde
The Chairman, Akinyele Local Government, Toaoheed Adedigba-Jimoh, thanked Governor Makinde, for his continuous support. “The support that we need to overcome this menace in Akinyele Local Government, he is ready to give us,” he said. “He has directed his Special Adviser on Security, and relevant security commanders in the state to visit this local government.
“They have allowed us to incorporate community policing into the security architecture of our local government. They include hunters, Soludero Hunters Associaton, members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and local vigilance group. So, we are using all security means to overcome this challenge.
A mysterious message and video. Allegedly, police in Ghana caught a fetish priest red-handed while he was preparing a young girl for ritual sacrifice. It sounds too crazy to be true. However, unfortunately, in the world of lunatics and criminals nothing seems impossible when it comes to ritualistic murders and other superstitious acts.
I include this message for the record, not because I am convinced it is true, but – as I said above – nothing seems to be impossible. It is not clear where this happened.
To watch the video please go to the original site. I do not include it here. It may be that, after some time, the video is no longer accessible. Let it be. (webmaster FDK).
Police catch fetish priest red-handed preparing little girl for ritual sacrifice (video)
Published: June 22, 2020 By: Pulse, Ghana – Andreas Kamasah
The timely intervention of police officers following a tipoff saved a little girl from being murdered by a ritualist for sacrifice.
A goose bump-triggering video circulating online shows the said ritualist being surrounded by police officers and some residents as he is made to resuscitate the young girl who he had already hypnotised and made unconscious for offering to his gods.
In the video, the ritualist is seen jumping over the motionless girl a number of times amidst chants to revive her before she regains her consciousness, screams and wakes up from a red carpet she had been laid on.
It is not clear immediately where the terrifying incident happened.
The video was posted on Instagram by nostorytv with a captioned: “This ritualist kidnapped this young girl for rituals. Unfortunately for him, someone saw him and followed him. On the point of killing the girl, the police arrived.“
After the girl regained consciousness and walked into the arms of a woman believed to be her mother, the ritualist was then pushed into a stationary car believed to belong to the police and driven away ostensibly to the police station for further interrogation.
The murder of Thabelo Mazolo in Zimbabwe inspired Bruce Ndlovu, the author of the article reproduced below, to dwell on the phenomenon of ritualistic murders, muti or muthi murders as they are called in Southern Africa. The staggering details of recent murder cases in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are shocking. The author is to be commended for his frankness to expose and discuss these heinous crimes which have no place in the 21st century.
Warning: the following article contains many graphic details as to how these murders are committed (webmaster FVDK).
Murder economy: The business, science behind ritual killings
Published: June 21, 2020 By: Nehanda Radio – Bruce Ndlovu
“You must cut yourself and spill your blood onto a mirror,” the message to Tawana Ngwenya reportedly read. “Gaze into the mirror and say out loud that you are selling your soul for riches. After that you must open the door for my boys to go out.”
The messages, from a South African sangoma, were allegedly part of a chain of instructions to Ngwenya, messages that allegedly led him to take the life of Tawana Mazolo at Matsheumhlophe, Bulawayo.
The messages were witchcraft delivered digitally, as the unknown sangoma, from his lair somewhere in one of South Africa’s nine provinces gave Ngwenya instructions on how to spill blood and in the aftermath, prepare for a life of riches.
The details of the alleged murder are gruesome. Half of Mazolo’s body, from the waist down, was missing while her breasts and palms were cut off. On the surface, the tragic killing of Mazolo already looks like a ritual murder. The grizzly details suggest that this indeed is the case.
After all, every once in a while, the pages of publications in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries drip with the blood of innocents murdered at the altar of self-enrichment.
There was the case of Edmore Rundogo, whose dismembered remains were found in Maun, about 500km from Botswana’s second city of Francistown.
Rundogo had left his home in Lobengula West (Bulawayo) in search of a better life in Botswana. Instead of the proverbial greener pastures on the other side of the Plumtree border, he had found machete-wielding men who savagely murdered him, ripping his heart out.
The five killers also cut off his hands, feet, privates and took part of his brains. The killers, after being told by the traditional healer that had hired them that they had killed the wrong person, had then tried to burn his body.
South of the Limpopo, there was the case of 10-year-old Masego Kgomo, a schoolgirl who was still alive when Brian Mangwale ripped out her womb.
During the course of his trial for murder, Mangwale would change his story three times, a fact that the courts took as evidence that he had no remorse for his actions. In one of the three accounts he claimed that he and a group of friends had taken the young girl to a traditional healer in Soshanguve, who gave them a concoction to drink before he dragged the crying Masego into a room.
The girl was still crying when the traditional healer returned with her 10 minutes later and started sprinkling something on her body.
Mangwale claimed the medicine man had then returned with a knife and a clay pot and ordered Masego to lie down on a bed.
When she refused, she was forcibly held down while the traditional healer stabbed her in the stomach, put his hand inside her body and removed something that looked like a ball, which he put into the clay pot. He also removed her left breast.
Mangwale told the magistrate he heard the others had wrapped the child’s body in plastic and drank muthi before dumping her body in the veld on the instructions of the traditional healer.
While his testimony kept changing, the courts were convinced that Kgomo had died after meeting the nasty end of Mangwale’s knife. A life in prison sentence was handed to the killer.
Body parts are big business in Africa, but particularly in South Africa where trade in human body parts is lucrative. In the race to get rich in places like the City of Gold, Johannesburg, some believe that the key to getting their hand on all that glitters is taking a shortcut.
Many Zimbabweans, like Mazolo, can trace their gruesome ritual death to powerful sangomas south of the Limpopo. While Ngwenya was the one allegedly wielding the instrument of death when Mazolo took her last painful breath, this is not always the case.
Middle men, like in the case of Mangwale, are usually the ones that handle the dirty work. According to South African scholar Louise Vincent, certain gangs specialise in killing people for the harvesting of body parts only.
“It is believed that certain murder gangs specialise in muthi killings. Unlike human sacrifice where death is the express purpose of the act, in muthi-related killings, death is an anticipated and accepted by-product of the garnering of human organs but it is not the main aim.
Indeed, it is often preferred that the victim remain alive during the process. When body parts, including internal organs, are removed while the victim is still alive it is believed that the power of the resultant medicine will be greatly enhanced. Depending on the wants of potential customers, the instructions that the sangomas give specifics.
“Sangomas seldom do the killing themselves. The order will include not only specifications as to which particular body part or parts are required — testicles for virility purposes, fat from the breasts or abdomen for luck, tongues to smooth the path to a lover’s heart — but the very specific manner in which they are to be collected.
“The use of human body parts for medicinal purposes is based in the belief that it is possible to appropriate the life force of one person through its literal consumption by another. For this reason, a victim is often carefully chosen — not just any person’s penis as a cure for male infertility, for instance, but that of a man with several healthy children.”
Those who grew up in Zimbabwe urban areas will recall how the shadow of ritual murder has never been far off the horizon. Some, no doubt, know of the stories of businessmen who are said to have suddenly turned rich after they lost a spouse or a child. That child, or any other loved one, is assumed to be the blood sacrifice that was necessary for their businesses to turn a sudden corner.
Such perceptions of course, may be nothing but jealous rumour, but they are not helped by actual cases like that of Robert Tazvireva, a bottle store and general dealership owner in Magunje who allegedly instructed Samuel Mushonga in 2017 to murder his own sister so he could enhance his business.
After Mushonga had allegedly fatally stabbed his sister and hacked off her head, he delivered it to Tazvireva who told him to hide it in a nearby bush. Such instances, have helped convince many that businesspeople profit from the spilling of blood.
“‘If the business is not doing well, get a boy or a girl’s head — someone who has a future — and your business will have a future too,” said Dr Gordon Chavunduka time president of the Zimbabwean Traditional Healers Association, once said.
Those who grew up in Bulawayo in the late 90s will remember the myth of men who reportedly drove around the city with a blood sucking frog, looking for unsuspecting victims to profit from.
While such urban legends have never been confirmed, they are an entertaining reminder that people live on the constant lookout for people trying to profit off their ritual sacrifice.
“I recall vividly growing up in one township in Zimbabwe. This was just when public transport in the form of the Toyota Hiace taxi had just been introduced in the country,” says Fanuel Hadzidzi of Gender Links.
“At that tender age, we were scared to death by the stories doing the rounds in the township of the disappearance of children. We were told how kids were being lured by strangers who promised them some sweets.
“The next thing, their bodies would be found in the bushes with some body parts missing. Rumours were that businesspeople were taking the children’s heads for instance to Durban in South Africa and were trading them off for the taxis. Weren’t we all scared!”
With claims of human body parts sold by vendors on the streets of South Africa and other countries, it may be a long time before ritual killings lose their lustre to those trying to make a quick dollar.
Sometimes a murder results in more than one victim….
I previously reported on this case in my June 17 posting, ‘Suspected ritual killers in first court appearance‘. Below some more information on this grisly ritual murder. Of course, I offer my condolences to the victim’s parents and other relatives. However, I also pity the murderer’s relatives, who will have to live with the crime committed by their relative, son, brother, cousin. The father of one of the suspected murderers speaks out in two articles which have been reproduced below (webmaster FVDK).
THE father of a 20-year-old man who allegedly killed a 25-year-old woman in Bulawayo, dismembered the body and put the remains in a drum filled with acid, yesterday opened up about the grisly ritual murder.
Tawana Ngwenya was arrested in Harare on Thursday as a suspect in the brutal killing of Ms Thabelo Mazolo.
Her body was cut in half and the lower part has not been located.
The breasts and palms had been sliced off.
The rest of the body was stashed in a drum in a toilet at a guest house where she worked and lived with Tawana and his father Mr Buzwani Ngwenya (60) who was the caretaker.
The community around Fortunes Gate in Matsheumhlophe where the murder occurred continues to express disbelief and horror at the callous killing.
Tawana allegedly acted on the instructions of a South Africa-based sangoma to kill Mazolo, so he could get rich.
Colleagues alleged they saw a message on his phone instructing him how to sell his soul for riches in a blood ritual that involved killing and mutilating Mazolo.
It is suspected Mazolo could have been killed between 29 May and 1 June when she went missing.
On 1 June Mr Ngwenya received a message from Mazolo’s phone informing him she would be away for a week.
Tawana fled to Harare on Tuesday when his father continued asking him about Mazolo’s whereabouts.
Mazolo’s uncle Mr Benny Moyo yesterday said she would be buried at her rural home in Zhombe tomorrow.
“The family will discuss the way forward in Zhombe,” said Mr Moyo.
Tawana is expected in the city today to assist police with investigations.
The elderly Mr Ngwenya yesterday said the day he heard his son could have committed the heinous act destroyed him.
“He was a quiet young man and seemed to be in good books with Thabelo. She would call him for assistance whenever she was in town on business. They appeared to get along very well. I’m crushed to learn he could have killed her in this beastly manner,” said Mr Ngwenya.
He said he has been seated at a shopping centre in the city the whole day as he could not process what his son had done.
“I am afraid to even approach Thabelo’s family but we obviously have to meet over this at some time. I need some respectable people to accompany me to talk to them. These people have been very good to us.
“I do not know what evil spirit possessed him to do this,” said Mr Ngwenya.
“Imagine we were looking for her and he was assisting us yet he could have known she was already dead. I feel like I’m losing my mind.”
He said his son had few friends and he could not imagine which one of them had initiated him into satanic rituals to kill people.
Neighbours said Tawana was soft spoken, polite and always smartly dressed.
They said there was nothing in his behaviour that showed he was capable of hurting another person.
“He was a smart formal dresser. He never wore casual stuff like jeans. He worked at a company that sells chemicals and was known for selling detergents in the area. He looked like a focused young man. I cannot believe he committed this cold-blooded killing. I guess the quiet ones always shock us,” said a neighbour on condition of anonymity.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube yesterday said investigations were still in progress.
“The suspect will be here tomorrow to assist with further investigations,” he said.
Tawana did his O-levels at Allan Wilson High School in Harare.
He was said to be an average student who stayed out of trouble.
He Was A Quiet Young Man – Father Of The 20 Year Old Bulawayo Ritual Murderer Opens Up
Published: June 13, 2020 By: Pindula News
Mr Buzwani Ngwenya the father of 20-year-old Tawana Ngwenya who is alleged to have brutally murdered Thabelo Mazolo, and mutilated her body and cutting off palms and breast before stuffing her body into a drum of acid under the instruction of a South African based traditional healer in a get rich quick ritual has opened up about the shocking gruesome murder committed by his young son, The Chronicle reports.
Speaking to the publication, Ngwenya said:
He was a quiet young man and seemed to be in good books with Thabelo. She would call him for assistance whenever she was in town on business. They appeared to get along very well. I’m crushed to learn he could have killed her in this beastly manner.
I am afraid to even approach Thabelo’s family but we obviously have to meet over this at some time. I need some respectable people to accompany me to talk to them. These people have been very good to us. I do not know what evil spirit possessed him to do this.
Imagine we were looking for her and he was assisting us yet he could have known she was already dead. I feel like I’m losing my mind.
Neighbours who also spoke to the publication about Tawana also said he was polite, respectfully and a soft-spoken young man who was always formally dressed:
He was a smart formal dresser. He never wore casual stuff like jeans. He worked at a company that sells chemicals and was known for selling detergents in the area. He looked like a focused young man. I cannot believe he committed this cold-blooded killing. I guess the quiet ones always shock us.
The Allan Wilson schooled Tawana will be transferred to Bulawayo where he will assist the police with investigations, while his unfortunate victim Thabelo Mazolo will be buried in Zhombe tomorrow.
IN a bizarre suspected ritual killing, a 25-year-old woman was sawn in half and part of her body was mutilated and stashed into a drum filled with acid in Bulawayo.
Part of the body, from the waist going down, is still missing while breasts and palms appeared to have been sliced off.
Police yesterday arrested a suspect, Tawana Ngwenya (20), the son of a caretaker where the woman lived. He was arrested in Harare where he had allegedly fled.
Tawana allegedly had a message from a sangoma based in South Africa which instructed him on how to kill Ms Thabelo Mazolo so he could get rich.
Mazolo’s sister secured employment for Ngwenya at a company in Bulawayo and he was staying in Matsheumhlophe suburb at a guest house where Mazolo worked, with his father Mr Buzwani Ngwenya (60) who was the caretaker.
“You must cut yourself and spill your blood onto a mirror. Gaze into the mirror and say out loud that you are selling your soul for riches. After that you must open the door for my boys to go out,” read part of the message that allegedly had additional instructions on rites that Ngwenya was supposed to perform on the body.
Sources who told the Chronicle about the message said they freaked out and have not been able to eat or sleep, since the body was discovered on Wednesday morning.
Mr Ngwenya said Mazolo moved to Bulawayo from Harare just before the national Covid-19 induced lockdown.
He last saw Mazolo alive on May 29 when she said she was visiting someone in Sizinda suburb.
On June 1, he received a message from Mazolo’s phone informing him she would be away for about a week.
Tawana told him she could have visited friends after he discovered she had not been home since May 29.
He said Tawana disappeared from home on Tuesday when he asked him if he knew Mazolo’s whereabouts and he switched off his phone. “Thabelo’s phone had stopped ringing. On Wednesday there was a strong smell of something rotting from the main house. I called the police. We opened the door with a spare key and found the body in a blue drum in the toilet. It had been cut up and some of Thabelo’s clothes appeared to have been used to wipe up plenty of blood,” said Mr Ngwenya.
He said Tawana was the last of three children who was always quiet and had never shown homicidal tendencies.
Mr Benny Moyo, Mazolo’s uncle, said the family had tried to locate her when she suddenly became unreachable on her phone.
“I went to her workplace and each time I would be told she is busy or had just left. We are devastated to learn she has been killed. We hear the suspect was arrested in Harare today. We may have more information when the police complete investigations,” said Mr Moyo.
Miss Nomathemba Ndaba, Mr Ngwenya’s employer, choked on her words in an interview.
“At least Tawana who is suspected to have done this horrible thing has been arrested,” she said. “We are very sorry for Thabelo’s family but we want to warn young people against partaking in rituals. He may die in jail after this. Young people must be careful who they play with.”
Chronicle went on the ground yesterday and unearthed grisly details of what could have happened.
Tawana who did his O-Levels at Allan Wilson High School in Harare was said to be a loner. He allegedly borrowed a hacksaw from a neighbour on May 25 saying he wanted to prune some trees and cut a drum.
It is suspected the hacksaw was used to cut up the body.
Neighbours said around that time, he said he was looking for sulphuric acid.
He allegedly made inquiries at a company along Khami Road but was told it was out of stock.
Tawana’s colleagues said he seemed spooked and was reluctant to have them spend time at his home with him.
“He was acting weird. It was as if he expected someone to suddenly appear behind him and harm him. He was furtive and withdrew further into himself. When he left, he said he was going to Mutare. We heard a relative had seen him in Kadoma. We are all shocked that he killed someone,” said a friend who declined to be named.
There were heart-tugging moments when some neighbours burst into tears as they talked about Thabelo.
“We had known her for a short time but she was nice to all of us,” said a woman who asked not to be named.
“Tawana was slim and looked frail. If he did it, he could not have done it alone because Thabelo was significantly bigger than him. I doubt he could have lifted the body and put it into the acid drum by himself,” said the neighbour.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said police were investigating the killing.
“The informant last saw the deceased on 29 May 2020 at around 11AM when she was going to town. On 1 June 2020 the now deceased sent a message to the informant advising him that she was going out of town and will be back on Sunday 7 June 2020,” said Inspector Ncube.
He said when Mr Ngwenya called the police, they found Thabelo’s body inside a blue 200 litre drum in the bathroom in a decomposed state.
The body was conveyed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for post mortem.
ZRP Arrests A Man In Harare Suspected Of Killing A Woman For Ritual Purposes In Bulawayo’s Matsheumhlophe Suburb
Published: June 12, 2020 By: Pindula News – Zimbabwe
ZRP this week arrested a man in Harare who is suspected of killing a 25-year-old woman whose body was found sawn in half and part of her body mutilated and some body parts like breasts and palms missing and stashed into a drum filled with acid in the affluent Matsheumhlophe suburb in Bulawayo, The Chronicle reports.
The suspected murderer, 20-year-old Tawana Ngwenya, the son of the caretaker where the woman lived, was arrested in Harare where he is suspected to have fled to after committing the heinous crime.
Tawana reportedly had instructions of how he should kill the deceased Ms Thabelo Mazolo to get rich. Part of the instruction seen by the publication reads:
You must cut yourself and spill your blood onto a mirror. Gaze into the mirror and say out loud that you are selling your soul for riches. After that you must open the door for my boys to go out.
Tawana was staying at the guest house where Mazolo worked after Mazolo’s sister secured employment for him at a Bulawayo company.
Tawana’s father who is a caretaker at the guest house said he last saw Mazolo alive on 29 May:
Tawana disappeared from home on Tuesday when he asked him if he knew Mazolo’s whereabouts and he switched off his phone. Thabelo’s phone had stopped ringing. On Wednesday there was a strong smell of something rotting from the main house. I called the police. We opened the door with a spare key and found the body in a blue drum in the toilet. It had been cut up and some of Thabelo’s clothes appeared to have been used to wipe up plenty of blood.
Governments, state authorities and legal institutions are obliged to protect the life, property and honor of citizens, in conformity with the mandate that they have received. In many traditional societies it is not done to criticize the authorities. However, luckily, times are changing. In Sierra Leone the population of Gherihun village in Baoma chiefdom, in the south of the country, have protested the alleged planned return of three chiefs whom they accused of involvement in ritual murders.
Read the story below. It’s a plea for the rule of law.
Suspected ritual murders should stand trial, and if found guilty sent to prison. However, if not found guilty after an impartial trial, the accused should be allowed to re-start their lives (webmaster FVDK).
Villagers protest alleged plan to reinstate chiefs accused of ritual murder
Published: June 16, 2020 By: Politico SL – Newman Antony Levey (in Bo)