The business, science behind ritual killings

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

The suspected ritual killer, Tawana Ngwenya (right) and his disillusioned father, Buzwani Ngwenya (left).

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.

Source: Murder economy: The business, science behind ritual killings

The Limpopo River Basin (Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe). Source map: The Economist

Another muti murder in South Africa? Child murder accused described as ‘quiet and reserved’

Warning: some of the articles below contain graphic details of the crime (webmaster FVDK).

Child murder accused described as ‘quiet and reserved’

Amanda Zitho, L, the mother of Mzwandile Zitho, 05, who was killed in Orange Farm about 2 weeks ago. PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Published: April 29, 2020
By: The Sowetan – Tankiso Makhetha

The woman accused of killing a five-year-old boy whose body was found in a local tavern has been described as a quiet and reserved person.

This was a sentiment shared by community members at Mzwandile Zitho’s funeral yesterday in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.

Mzwandile was allegedly murdered by Pontso Mohlanka who appeared in the Vereeniging magistrate’s court yesterday where she is facing a charge of murder.

Her matter was postponed until May 15 when her bail application is expected to be heard. The matter was also postponed to allow the state to verify Mohlanka’s nationality with the department of home affairs.

She was initially arrested with her partner and tavern owner, who was not formally charged due to insufficient evidence.

“We are still dumbstruck by what happened. It’s hard to make sense of the whole thing because she is the last person who we thought would be charged for Wandi’s murder,” said Petunia Nkwanyane, a resident in the area.

She spoke to Sowetan at Mzwandile’s Orange Farm home, moments after his burial. The deceased’s home is just across the street from the tavern where the body was discovered on April 15.

The tavern house, now a crime scene, is sealed off with police tape.

Mzwandile’s body was found in an upright position in a fridge, with his hands and feet tied.

According to residents, he also had a red rope around his neck which had small packets containing a powdery substance.

“The only time we saw anyone there was when the tavern owner’s sister came to fetch something while the couple was in jail. We know that the owner was released from jail but we don’t know where he is,” Nkwanyane said.

Another neighbour, Phindi Majola, said Mzwandile’s mysterious death had enraged the community which wanted to burn down the tavern.

“Everyone was upset because of the way Mzwandile was killed. People wanted to burn the house when the police were done with their work because they suspected that Mzwandile was killed in a muthi ritual,” Majola said.

She said she was familiar with Mohlanka, with whom she interacted while peeling vegetables at homes preparing for funerals in the area.

“She is so quiet and shy. I am familiar with her; we talk a lot when we peel vegetables for funerals here,” she said.

Mzwandile was buried at De Deur Memorial Park near Vereeniging. His distraught father, Simphiwe Mosala, said: “I just want to know why he was killed. He was an innocent boy who had so much potential. We want justice; we are also grateful to everyone who has shown us support.”

Source: Child murder accused described as ‘quiet and reserved’

Related articles:

Woman charged after senseless killing of five-year-old boy

Five-year old Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on Wednesday. 
Image: Supplied

Published: April 20, 2020
By: The Sowetan – Tankiso Makhetha

A woman has been charged with the murder of a five-year-old boy who was found killed in a tavern in Orange Farm last week.

Pontso Mohlanka appeared in the Vereeniging regional court on Monday where she was charged with Mzwandile Zitho’s murder.

Phindi Mjonondwane, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson said the matter was postponed until Wednesday for further investigations.

“The matter was also postponed to set a date for the bail application hearing,” Mjonondwane said.

The woman was arrested along with her husband at the tavern, which is located less than 30 metres from Zitho’s home.

“Charges against the man were not placed on the roll as there is currently no prima facie case against him,” she said.

Zitho was found in an upright position with his legs tied and a red rope around his neck in what his family believes was a muthi killling.

Zitho’s grandmother Nompumelelo Zitho previously told Sowetan how she frantically searched for her grandson last Wednesday with the tavern owner allegedly telling her not to worry when she asked him if he had seen Mzwandile.

“I was worried sick because I didn’t know where he was. I started searching for him and asked the owner of the tavern if he had seen Wandi and he said no. He said Wandi was a smart boy and would return home,” she recalled Wednesday’s events.

Zitho said the tavern owner assisted them to search for Mzwandile and went as far as sending one of his employees into a neighbouring township.

“He was telling me not to go to the police station and that we would find Wandi by the end of the day. He was so reassuring, but I was concerned and wanted to find my grandson,” she said.

Zitho said after several hours of searching, she then went to the police station to report Mzwandile missing.”Four hours after our conversations, I was shocked when I arrived at the police station to report Wandi missing, only to find him [tavern owner] there. 

“He told us that he had found Wandi’s body in his tavern and did not know how it got there,” Zitho said.

“I feel betrayed because he was one of the first people to start a search party for Wandi when I told him he was missing.

“He didn’t tell me that my grandson was in his tavern the whole time we were looking for him. He said he also didn’t know that Wandi was there.”

Zitho said she was heartbroken because she raised Mzwandile since he was five months old. She recalled the condition in which they found Mzwandile’s body.

“He was standing upright, there was a red rope with small papers containing powdery substances attached to it. His legs were also tied with a handkerchief with a small bottle containing white muthi attached to it.

“It is as if he was a sacrifice.”He was an active child and full of energy. He would say to me that he wanted to be a priest because he was tired of seeing me take a taxi to church. He said he would take me to church with his own car.”

Source: Woman charged after senseless killing of five-year-old boy

and:

Tavern owner and wife arrested for boy’s murder

Nompumelelo Zitho , the grandmother of 5 year old child, Mwzandile Zitho, killed in Orange Farm, Johannesburg . PHOTO: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/SOWETAN

Published: April 20, 2020
By: The Sowetan Live, South Africa – Tankiso Makhetha 

The tavern owner who helped the family of a five-year-old boy to search for him after he went missing last week has been arrested for the child’s murder.

Mzwandile Zitho’s grandmother Nompumelelo Zitho recalled how she frantically searched for her grandson in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday with the tavern owner allegedly telling her not to worry when she asked him if he had seen Mzwandile.

“I was worried sick because I didn’t know where he was. I started searching for him and asked the owner of the tavern if he had seen Wandi and he said no. He said Wandi was a smart boy and would return home,” she recalled Wednesday’s events.

Zitho said the tavern owner assisted them to search for Mzwandile and went as far as sending one of his employees into a neighbouring township.

“He was telling me not to go to the police station and that we would find Wandi by the end of the day. He was so reassuring, but I was concerned and wanted to find my grandson,” she said.

Zitho said after hours of searching, she then went to the police station to report Mzwandile missing.

“Four hours after our conversations, I was shocked when I arrived at the police station to report Wandi missing, only to find him [tavern owner] there. He told us that he had found Wandi’s body in his tavern and did not know how it got there,” Zitho said.

Mzwandile was found in an upright position with his legs tied and a red rope around his neck in what his family believes was a muthi killling.

Provincial police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele said the tavern owner’ and his wife were arrested on Friday and are expected to appear in the Vereeniging magistrate’s court today on charges of kidnapping and murder.

“I feel betrayed because he was one of the first people to start a search party for Wandi when I told him he was missing.

“He didn’t tell me that my grandson was in his tavern the whole time we were looking for him.

“He said he also didn’t know that Wandi was there.”

Zitho said she was heartbroken because she raised Mzwandile since he was five months old.

She recalled the condition in which they found Mzwandile’s body.

Source: Tavern owner and wife arrested for boy’s murder

and:

Boy’s body found in Orange Farm tavern fridge

Published: April 17, 2020
By: The Sowetan Live, South Africa – Tankiso Makhetha 

A five-year-old boy was found dead in a tavern in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday, in what his family and community suspect was a muti-related murder.

Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on the same day.

Residents said they were shocked by the gruesome discovery of his body in a fridge.

Anna Makhubu, who was one of the first people to enter the tavern where Mzwandile’s body was found, said: “His grandmother said she grew worried when she could not find him around the yard at 10am. She said he was still in his pyjamas when he went missing.

“She asked the tavern owner, who lives across from them, if he had seen Mzwandile. He said no. But she was shocked to find him at the police station as well.”

According to Makhubu, the tavern owner told the police he did not know how the boy’s body ended up on his property.

“He said he doesn’t know how the body got there and wanted to help. When we got there we found Mzwandile naked, standing in an upright position. His hands and feet were bound. There was muthi bottles and a handkerchief that had small ropes in it.”

Makhubu said she was heartbroken as she raised Mzwandile since he was five months old.

“He was an active child and full of energy. He would say to me that he wanted to be a priest because he was tired of seeing me take a taxi to church. He said he would take me to church in his own car.”

ANC branch chairperson in the area, Macy Monageng, said: “We are hurt because we are in a lockdown and then this happens. We thought children and women abuse would end in this situation but clearly not. The law needs to take its course.”

Police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele said they were investigating a case of murder and that no arrests have been made.

Source: Boy’s body found in Orange Farm tavern fridge

and:

Boy found dead in tavern fridge

Five-year old Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on Wednesday. 

Published: April 16, 2020
By: The Sowetan Live – Tankiso Makhetha 

A five-year-old boy was found dead in a tavern in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg on Wednesday in what the community suspects was a muthi-related murder.

Mzwandile Zitho was reported missing by his grandmother on the same day. Community members said they were shocked by the gruesome discovery.

Anna Makhubu, who was one of the first people to enter the tavern where Zitho’s body was found, said: “His grandmother said she grew worried when she could not find him around the yard at 10am”. 

She said he was still in his pyjamas when he went missing. Makhubu added: “She asked the tavern owner, who lives across from them, if he had seen Mzwandile. He said no. But she was shocked to find him at the police station as well.”

According to Makhubu, the tavern owner told the police he did not know how the boy’s body ended up on his property.

“He said he doesn’t know how the body got there and wanted to help. When we got there we found Mzwandile naked, standing in an upright position. His hands and feet were bound. There was muthi bottles and a handkerchief that had small ropes in it,” she said.

Macy Monageng, ANC branch chairperson in the area, said: “We are hurt because we in a lockdown and then this happens… a naked boy in a fridge? We thought child and woman abuse would end in this situation but clearly not. The law needs to take its course.”Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said they were investigating a case of murder.

Source: Boy found dead in tavern fridge

South Africa – Provinces

South Africa: more on murdered Giyani girl found in dam

More details emerge with respect to the lifeless body of Tiyiselani Rikhotso, found at the Klein Letaba dam near Giyani, Limpopo, South Africa. The region is known for its ritual murders, as reported multiple times on this site. The local population calls the ritualistic murders muti (muthi) murders (webmaster FVDK).  

Murdered Giyani girl (11) found in dam had missing body parts, family say

Tiyiselani Rikhotso when she was younger. The 11-year-old was killed and her body found in a dam near Giyani.

Published: March 20, 2020
By: Sowetan Live – Peter Ramothwala  

The family of an 11-year-old girl whose dismembered body was found in a dam suspects she was murdered for ritual purposes.

Tiyiselani Rikhotso from Ndengeza village, about 40km west of Giyani in Limpopo, was reported missing on Sunday and her body was found on Tuesday in the Klein Letaba Dam.

Her discovery was preceded by a protest by the community, who went on a rampage, blockading roads.

Tiyiselani’s grandmother Christina Rikhotso, 59, said she suspected Tiyiselani was hacked with a panga as she had several open and deep wounds on her body.

“I saw those wounds on her body and they were very scary. Her right leg was chopped and still missing as we speak.

“I think she was killed elsewhere and thrown into the dam.

“If her murder is not for muthi, what will one do with a child’s leg?”

Rikhotso said Tiyiselani was found in the dam after some children tipped off community members that they saw her in the company of an unknown man.

“On our way to the dam, we found her doek and we became convinced she was thrown in there,” she said.

The grandmother said she was in church when Tiyiselani went missing on Sunday.

“I left her with her other siblings at home in the morning. Later in the day, I received a call that Tiyiselani was missing. I quickly called a few neighbours and we combed the local bushes and could not find her.

“In the afternoon, I went to the police to report a missing person. I even told them that we suspect her body was in the dam and they told me they would wait for a search and rescue team and sniffer dogs.”

Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said a manhunt for the killer(s) had been launched.

“The discovery was made by community members who then called the police.

“On arrival at the scene, the police retrieved the body and discovered that some of her body parts were missing,” Mojapelo said.

Mojapelo said the motive for the murder was unknown at this stage but said that murder for body parts could not be ruled out.

Tiyiselani’s father Thulani Rikhotso said he was shocked and in disbelief about his daughter’s murder.

“I arrived on Wednesday from Gauteng to see for myself. My brother, I’m heartbroken. I want police to find her killers soon,” he said.

MEC for social development Nkakareng Rakgoale has also reacted with shock to the incident.

“Incidents such as this one are again putting in the spotlight the general safety of our children in communities.

“I cannot begin to imagine how a person can decide to take away an innocent soul just like that.

“We are once again appealing to parents and communities to always keep a close eye on children who are in their vicinity,” Rakgoale said.

Source: Murdered Giyani girl (11) found in dam had missing body parts, family say

Related article:

Missing Giyani girl’s body found dismembered in Limpopo dam

Published: March 20, 2020
By: News 24 (South Africa) – Canny Maphanga

Tiyiselani Nokuthula Rikhotso. (Supplied, SAPS)
Tiyiselani Nokuthula Rikhotso. (Supplied, SAPS)

The body of Tiyiselani Nokuthula Rikhotso, a 11-year-old missing Giyani girl, was found dismembered and dumped in the local Klein Letaba Dam on Tuesday.

Rikhotso was reported missing on Monday.

“The discovery was made by community members, who called the police. On arrival at the scene, the police retrieved the body and discovered that some of her body parts were missing,” said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo in a statement on Tuesday.

The provincial commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, strongly condemned the brutal killing of an innocent child and instructed the police to hunt down the killers.

The police have subsequently launched a manhunt.

Authorities are calling on anyone with information to come forward.

Source: Missing Giyani girl’s body found dismembered in Limpopo dam

The Limpopo River Basin 

South Africa: extra court security for Centurion ‘muthi’ murder accused

Muti or ‘muthi’ murders are ritualistic murders committed to enhance one’s prestige, power, wealth or luck. It’s a quite common name for a heinous crime, all over Southern Africa – not only in South Africa. Perpetrators are rarely arrested and prosecuted. Also in the case of the late Maria Skhosana whose lifeless body was found mutilated – case presented below – police was reluctant to intervene. Why? The deceased’s partner, however, insisted, and a suspect was arrested and brought to court to be judged. Read the saga below. At least, the rule of law seems to be applied this time, which unfortunately cannot be taken for granted in South Africa….  (webmaster FVDK).

Photo: Sourced (Bosveld Review)

Extra court security for Centurion ‘muthi’ murder accused
Published: February 6, 2020
By: Centurion Rekord

Extra security had to be deployed at the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Monday as a 27-year-old man accused of a “muthi” murder appeared.

David Kutosi is accused of killing Maria Skhosana (40) and dumping her mutilated body near the Mnandi cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch.

Additional police and security officers were present in the courtroom as a precautionary measure.

This comes after the court was disrupted during Kutosi’s previous appearance by community members screaming slurs and threatening to kill the accused.

This time around, women in the gallery held up their bras in a demonstration during court proceedings.

Kutosi indicated he would not apply for bail.

Violence broke out in the community the week following his arrest, with community members taking to the streets and setting some muthi shops alight.

It was believed that Skhosana was killed as part of a muthi ritual.

Skhosana’s body was found in January more than a month after she had gone missing.

She was four months pregnant when she decided to have an abortion in November and left her home one day to have the procedure performed.

She was, however, not seen alive again.

The matter was moved to another court room for security purposes and postponed to 8 April.

Source: Extra court security for Centurion ‘muthi’ murder accused

Related articles:

‘Muthi’ murder case postponed again
Published: January 28, 2020
By: Centurion Rekord

Thamisanqa Mahlangu at the scene where his partners remains were found. Photo: Ron Sibiya

The murder case of a 27-year-old man accused of killing a woman for muthi has been postponed again.

David Ntosi will appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court again on 3 February.

Ntosi was arrested a week ago, on allegations that he killed 40-year-old Maria Skhosana, mutilated her body and dumped it near the Mnandi cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch.

He appeared in court on Monday, for an interpreter to be appointed. The case was remanded to allow legal representation to be appointed for him.

Skhosana’s mutilated body was found dumped near a cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch earlier this month, in what was suspected to be a muthi murder.

She was last seen by her family on 27 November last year, and reported missing to the police the next day.

Her partner Thamisanqa Mahlangu told Rekord he had to investigate her disappearance all on his own.

This allegedly included “luring” the suspect as well as taking valuable information to police which they allegedly failed to act on.

Protests flared up in the area following Skhosana’s murder.

Earlier this month, rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired at a group of protesters who were allegedly involved in torching muthi shops in Olievenhoutbosch.

Source: ‘Muthi’ murder case postponed again

And:

Centurion ‘muts’ murder accused appears in court
Published: January 23, 2020
By: Centurion Rekord

David Ntosi was arrested a week ago on suspicion that he killed 40-year-old Maria Skhosana, mutilated her body then dumped it near the Mnandi Cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch.

A 27-year-old man who is accused of killing a woman for muthi appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court earlier this week.

David Ntosi was arrested a week ago on allegations that he killed 40-year-old Maria Skhosana, mutilated her body and dumped it near the Mnandi Cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch.

Skhosana was last seen by her family on 27 November last year and reported missing to the police the next day.

She was four months pregnant when she decided to have an abortion and had left that day to have the procedure performed, but was never seen again.

The case drew a lot of attention as members of the community filled up the gallery screaming slurs at the accused.

On Sunday rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired at a group of protesters who were allegedly involved in torching muthi shops in Olievenhoutbosch.

Skhosana’s partner Thamisanqa Mahlangu said community members had vowed to support the family during court proceedings.

“This matter hasn’t only affected us as a family, but the entire the community as well,” he said.

“They do not feel safe in their own neighbourhoods.”

He said the Olievenhoutbosch taxi industry has offered free transportation to supporters.

The matter was remanded to 27 January in order to get an interpreter for the accused.

His address was yet to be confirmed in order for him to apply for bail.

Source: Centurion ‘muthi’ murder accused appears in court

And:

Centurion herbal shops torched following ‘muthi’ murder
Published: January 23, 2020
By: Centurion Rekord

Rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired at a group of protesters who were allegedly involved in torching muthi shops in Olievenhoutbosch on Sunday evening.

The protest comes after the body mutilated body of 40-year-old Maria Skhosana was found dumped near the Mnandi cemetery on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said preliminary reports suggest that the incident stemmed from the arrest of a 27-year-old man suspected of being behind the murder of the woman.

“A group of people went on the rampage and raided a number of shops alleged to be selling muthi,” she said

Peters said the group initially started earlier in the day, going into the shops, removing muthi-products and setting them alight, but were dispersed by police.

An even bigger crowd started again later in the evening and attacked and burnt some shops that were part of a chain of stores known to be selling muthi.

“An unconfirmed number of shops were damaged and some set alight,” Peters said.

“The group allegedly became violent and attacked the police nyala and the members responded by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets.”

She said police found another group allegedly looting a shop and arrested four suspects.

Skhosana was last seen by her family on 27 November last year and reported missing to the police the next day.

Her partner Thamisanqa Mahlangu said the woman, who was four months pregnant, had decided to have an abortion and had left that day to have the procedure performed, but never returned.

He previously told Rekord that he believed Maria’s killer lured women to his “surgery” under the pretense of being an abortion specialist, takes their money, kills them and steals their body parts.

“Police must investigate who else he has killed and who are the other people he is working with,” he said.

Source: Centurion herbal shops torched following ‘muthi’ murder

And:

Family devastated after missing woman (40) found mutilated
Published: January 17, 2020
By: Centurion Rekord

Thamisanqa Mahlangu at the scene where his partners remains were found. Photo: Ron Sibiya 

Maria Skhosana’s body was found near the Mnandi cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch .

The family of a 40-year old missing woman is devasted after her body was found dumped near a Cemetery in Olievenhoutbosch on Wednesday.

Maria Skhosana was found mutilated in what is suspected to be a muthi murder.  

Skhosana was last seen by her family on 27 November last year and reported missing to the police the next day.

Her partner Thamisanqa Mahlangu said Maria, who was four months pregnant, had decided to have an abortion and had left that day to have the procedure performed.

“I didn’t agree with her decision, but I couldn’t stop her either. I didn’t even know where she was going to have it done” he said.

“I was in Mpumalanga when I received a call the next day that she had not returned home.”

He said he rushed back to Pretoria to search for her and his first instinct led him to hospitals.

“I thought that maybe she was hospitalised after the procedure, that maybe she may have been bleeding and needed additional attention. But we didn’t find her.”

Weeks went by and Maria was still nowhere to be found.

Mahlangu said the family had even resorted to seeking the help from spiritual leaders, who reassured them that she would be back.

” A week ago, I then searched for all the contact details of abortion places in the area. I contacted one who said they had not treated my partner, but something was not right about him.”

He said he knew something was wrong when the so-called abortion expert asked for a picture of Maria to confirm if he had not in fact treated her.

“Why would he ask for a picture? Would he not know her names and Surname?”

“I pleaded with him to please bring her back, but he insisted that he knew nothing.”

On Sunday Mahlangu received a call from an anonymous person, who said he had information about Maria’s whereabouts.

He said the person told him that Maria was killed.

“He gave me the location of a place where he said the owner was involved in Maria’s murder,” said Mahlangu

“I took this information to the police who were reluctant to help.”

He mobilized members of the community who then followed the information which led them to a muthi shop in extention 21.

“We found a young man who insisted he knew nothing and that he had a boss he worked for. We took him to the police, but he was later released and he wasn’t even interviewed.”

Mahlangu said he and the community members pleaded with the police until they caught the attention of one officer who after following leads  rearrested the same young man.

The father of two said he believed that the young man was using  illegal abortions to lure women into his “surgery” stealing their body parts and then killing them.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Pretty Mokadi confirmed that the 27-year old man was arrested on Monday.

“The suspect then took police to a place where illegal abortions are conducted and a bag full of women underwear was found and burned.” 

“Regarding the muthi killing, at this stage, we cannot confirm as the matter is still investigated,” said Mokadi.

Mahlangu said the family has been struggling to cope and the idea of waiting three more months for Maria’s burial was even more stressful.

“We couldn’t identify her because of how she was badly mutilated. We were told that DNA test would take up to three months,” he said.

“We can’t even sleep at night.”

Maria, a mother of two, was employed as a domestic worker.

“Her birthday on the 16th of December was a very dull one,” Mahlangu said.

Women in the community who did not want to be named said they felt unsafe and targeted.

They called on the police to reopen unsolved missing persons cases to see if they cannot be linked to the suspect.

” How many other women has he killed? Who are the owners of the other underwear found? “

They said they would mobilise other members of the community to raise their concerns with the police.

The 27-year old man is expected to appear in court soon.

Source: Family devastated after missing woman (40) found mutilated

Olievenhoutbosch is a township in Centurion in Gauteng, South Africa.  It is the furthest suburb situated from the Pretoria CBD. Source: Olievenhoutbosch – Wikipedia 
Map of South Africa with City of Tshwane highlighted

South Africa: Two witch doctor cannibals jailed in grisly dismemberment murder

Published:  December 13, 2018 9:40 PM EST
By: Brad Hunter

Witch doctor Nino Mbatha, 33,  was jailed for life for murdering and eating a young woman

Two cannibals have been jailed for life after one was busted carrying a bag with a human hand and a leg inside.

When one surrendered to cops in South Africa, he told stunned detectives: “[I’m] tired of eating human flesh.”

Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, were jailed for life Thursday for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo.

According to the Daily Mail, it was Mbatha — a self-proclaimed ‘traditional healer’ — that served up the sinister duo’s unappetizing antics to cops.

At first, cops believed Mbatha was pulling a sick joke on them.

But when he took detectives to a nearby house, they discovered more body parts.

Cops say Hlatshwayo was murdered and decapitated as part of a ritual killing performed by witch doctors to bring good luck.

Judge Peter Olsen described the murder as “heinous.”

The court was told that the female victim was beheaded by Mbatha who, with the help of Magubane, removed her internal organs, hands and feet in order to gain luck.

Mbatha told Magubane to eat the 24-year-old woman’s flesh for “good luck,” before claiming he was forced into cannibalism.

Another witch doctor killed himself before he could be brought to trial.

Source: Two witch doctor cannibals jailed in grisly dismemberment murder

Related article:

Cannibal who told police he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’ when he was caught with a human hand and leg is jailed for life in South Africa

Published: December 12, 2018
By: CHRIS DYER FOR MAILONLINE and AFP

  • Nino Mbatha and Lungisani Magubane sentenced to life for murder of woman
  • Zanele Hlatshwayo said to have been raped and murdered as part of ritual killing
  • Traditional ‘healer’ Mbatha said cannibalism would bring Magubane good luck
  • Members of small community of Esigodlweni dug up graves to give to Mbatha

Two cannibals, one of which was found carrying a bag with a human hand and a leg inside, have been jailed for life in South Africa.

One of the cannibals told officers when he turned himself into police that he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’.

Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, were jailed for life today for the murder of Zanele Hlatshwayo.

Mbatha, said to be a ‘traditional healer’, was arrested after handing himself in at a police station in Estcourt, a town in KwaZulu-Natal province last year.

He was carrying a bag containing a human leg and a hand, telling officers he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’.

Police refused to believe his claims until he took officers to a house where more body parts were found.

‘Traditional healer’ Nino Mbatha (pictured) and accomplice Lungisani Magubane were jailed for life for the murder in KwaZulu-Natal province last year.
Thanks Mydrim Jones
Victim Zanele Hlatshwayo was murdered and decapitated as part of a ‘muthi’ ritual killing performed by witch doctors to bring good luck
Thanks Mydrim Jones

Sitting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, judge Peter Olsen, said the pair were guilty of ‘the most heinous crime’, the Witness newspaper said.

The court heard that Ms Hlatshwayo had been beheaded by Mbatha who, with the help of Magubane, removed her internal organs, hands and feet in order to gain luck through ‘muthi’ – a term for traditional medicine in parts of southern Africa.

Mbatha was said to have instructed Magubane to eat the 24-year-old woman’s flesh for ‘good luck’, before claiming he was forced into cannibalism. 

At earlier hearings in Estcourt, angry residents gathered outside the courthouse to protest against the grisly murder.

South Africa has no direct law against cannibalism, but mutilating a corpse and being in possession of human tissue are criminal offences.

Lungisani Magubane, 32, were jailed for life today along with Nino Mbatha at Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal
Thanks Mydrim Jones
The house in the village of Esigodlweni where the murder was said to have taken place. One of the suspects turned himself in at a South African police station, saying he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’ 
Thanks Mydrim Jones

A third man was acquitted today, with seven people initially arrested during the investigation.

A fourth man arrested and charged, Sithembiso Sithole, 31, died in prison after apparently killing himself while awaiting trial. 

The trio of men were arrested after Mbatha went to police and more remains were found in a nearby house, leading to the discovery of a woman’s mutilated body, who was also said to have been raped.

After a meeting was held in the village of Esigodlweni, home to just 971 people, it emerged almost a third of the population had been digging up graves or eating residents.

In the aftermath of the arrests, villagers gathered in the community hall allegedly admitted tasting human flesh.

Two of the men initially arrested were said to be witch doctors, or traditional healers, and a third was on parole from jail at the time of the killing.

Sithembiso Sithole who was arrested and charged in connection with the investigation, died in prison after apparently killing himself while awaiting trial
Thanks Mydrim Jones
Estcourt police station in KwaZulu-Natal where Nino Mbatha handed himself in and angry protesters gathered during the trial
Thanks Mydrim Jones

Community members were also said to have dug up graves under the orders of Mbatha to give him the bones.

When police were investigating officers discovered eight ears in a pot, local councillor Mthembeni Majola told the media. 

People with albinism in some African countries are particularly at risk of ‘muti’ killings due to the belief held by some that their body parts impart power and health to those who eat them.

A man Durban was found with a human head in his backpack last July, as he was thought to be attempting to sell the head to a witch doctor.

Source: Cannibal who told police he was ‘tired of eating human flesh’ when he was caught with a human hand and leg is jailed for life in South Africa