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
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.
Missing Giyani girl’s body found dismembered in Limpopo dam
Published: March 20, 2020 By: News 24 (South Africa) – Canny Maphanga
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.
The fear is warranted, but we have to be careful and we should not rush to conclusions without firm evidence or an official announcement. However, the immediate reaction of a ritualistic act is telling and significant (webmaster FVDK).
Missing Giyani girl found dismembered and thrown in Klein Letaba dam
Published: March 18, 2020 By: TimesLive – South Africa
An 11-year-old girl, who was reported missing in Dengeza, outside Giyani, on Monday, was found murdered and dismembered on Tuesday, said Limpopo police.
Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the child was found dumped at the Klein Letaba dam.
“The discovery was made by community members, who called the police. The police retrieved the body and discovered that some of her body parts were missing,” said Mojapelo.
“The motive for this murder is unknown, but ritual murder cannot be ruled out,” he added.
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba condemned the brutal killing of the child and called on police to hunt down her killers.
‘Ritual murder cannot be ruled out’ after body of missing girl (11) found in Limpopo dam
Her dismembered body was found in the local Klein Letaba Dam
Published: March 18, 2020 By: Review (online) – South Africa
LIMPOPO – The body of 11-year-old Tiyiselani Nokuthula Rikhotso, who was reported missing on Monday, 16 March has been found. Rikhotso, from Dengeza (A) outside Giyani, was last seen when she left home on Sunday, 15 March.
The police commenced with a search operation after Rikhotso was reported missing, but without success. Her dismembered body was found in the local Klein Letaba Dam on Tuesday, 17 March and the police in Giyani have launched a manhunt for the killer (s) as a result.
Residents from the local community made the discovery and called the police who retrieved the body from the dam and found some of her body parts were missing. According to Police Spokesperson, Brig Motlafela Mojapelo, the motive for the killing is unknown but ritual murder cannot be ruled out.
The brutal killing of Rikhotso has been strongly condemned by the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Nneke Ledwaba who also instructed the police to hunt down the people responsible for her death.
The police appeal to anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspect(s) to contact Col Chris Mabasa at 082 469 0739, their nearest police station or the Crime Stop number at 086 001 0111
The following case may not refer to a ritualistic murder though there are strong indications that a ritual murder has indeed been committed. Moreover, the article refers to previous ritual killings that have taken place as “There have been concerns over the high number of ritual killings in the province for years, particularly of women.”, see below (webmaster FVDK).
Polokwane police launch manhunt after discovery of mutilated body
Published: December 15, 2019 By: The South African – Thabo Baloyi
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo are on the search for the perpetrators behind the horrific discovery of a badly mutilated body in Polokwane on Thursday 12 December 2019.
The body was found dumped in the bushes along the N1 bypass, near the Peter Mokaba Stadium. A passer-by, who came across the body, noticed some limbs were missing and called the police who then rushed to the scene.
“Upon arrival at the scene, the police were met by the gruesome scene of the badly mutilated body of a man who is estimated to be in his forties, wearing grey trousers, a blue T-shirt and black shoes”, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba strongly condemned the attack and called for those responsible to face the full might of the law
“The commissioner has noted the incident with shock, especially the brutality that characterised this murder and has ordered an intensive manhunt for the suspects,” the statement read.
Police are appealing to anyone with information that can assist in the arrest of the suspect(s) and who can assist in the identification of the deceased, to contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111 or the nearest police station.
Ritual murder not ruled out as motive
While Mojapelo did note that the motive was unknown at this stage, they were not ruling out the likelihood of a ritual killing and investigations into the murder are ongoing.
There have been concerns over the high number of ritual killings in the province for years, particularly of women.
Earlier in 2019, Giyani villagers discovered that the private parts of a 69-year-old Giyani man, who had been killed after being hit by a car, were missing. His family believes that he had actually been murdered as part of a ritual act.
In 2018, the headless body of a woman was found in Lulekani, outside Phalaborwa, insider her bedroom. In the same year, the Polokwane High Court sentenced two men to life in prison for the murder of a 17-year-old girl. They were reportedly arrested while trying to sell her head to a local businessman.
The dark practice of ritual murders, motivated by cultural beliefs, is usually carried out by traditional leaders and involves the removal of body parts, whether for self-enrichment or to appease ancestors.
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).
Extra court security for Centurion ‘muthi’ murder accused Published: February 6, 2020 By: Centurion Rekord
Early January of this year riots broke out in Chiwempala Township in Chingola District on the Copperbelt. The rioters took to the streets to protest the alleged failure by police to arrest a man they suspect to have been behind the alleged ritual killings in the district. Mob justice, often based on rumors, is wrong and reprehensible. People should respect the authorities, but as one comment on the first article reproduced below shows, not everyone disagrees with people who take the law in their own hands: ‘(…) let the civilians do what they can do. (…)’
Every year hundreds of innocent civilians – i.e. not found guilty by an independent court – die as a result of mob justice in African countries. In South Africa it even has a special name: ‘necklacing’. The apprehended suspected criminal is tied up by civilians, who put a tire doused in gasoline around the neck of the suspect. They then set the tire and the suspect on fire (alive!), who usually perishes. In 2011, 543 people died as a result of ‘lynching’ (mob justice) in Kenya, according to official statistics. In Uganda, 568 people succumbed as a result of mob justice in 2014.
Murderers must be arrested and tried by an independent court. ‘Law abiding’ citizens who turn into murderers as a result of mob justice must be apprehended and prosecuted too. Therefor, the Zambian police must be complimented for doing its work (webmaster FVDK).
Over 50 arrested in Chingola riots Published: January 9, 2020 By: Chris Phiri, Zambia Reports
Over 50 people have been arrested in connection with the riots that broke out in Chiwempala Township in Chingola District on the Copperbelt.
The unruly rioters took to the streets to protest the alleged failure by police to arrest a man they suspect to have been behind the alleged ritual killings in the district.
They blocked roads, burnt three motor vehicles and one house all properties belonging to the same person.
The rioters did not only damage property but also rooted various goods among them groceries and household goods.
Copperbelt Police Deputy Commissioner Wamunyima Wamunyima has stated that police managed to bring to book some of the rioters who are currently detained at Chingola Central Police.
Officers from the Zambia Army and Zambia Police have since managed to contain the situation.
Africa’s Shameful Acts of Racism: The Plight of Persons with Albinism (PLWA) in Africa
Published: December 2, 2019 By: Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor, The Daily Observer (Liberia), Webmaster Admin
Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior to another, and that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. On the African Continent, we have seen the impact of colonialism and its attributes of racism and discrimination.
The former Apartheid system in South Africa and its institutionalized racial segregation was an extreme expression of European treatments of Africans. The miserable treatment of people living with Albinism by fellow Africans is not only unfortunate, it is shameful.
The condition known as ‘Oculocutaneous albinism’ (OCA) is a genetically inherited autosomal recessive condition and OCA2, tyrosine-positive albinism, is the most prevalent type found throughout Africa. Due to the lack of melanin, people with albinism are more susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure.
The National Institutes of Health reported that about 200,000 Americans are affected; and around the world, it is between one in 17,000 and one in 20,000 people are people living with albinism. However, it is prevalence in parts of Africa, but it is far higher than the global average. People living with Albinism makeup about one in 4,000 people in South Africa and perhaps one in 5,000 in Nigeria. According to a 2006 review published in the journal BMC Public Health, the prevalence in Tanzania is one in 1,400, but this estimate is based on incomplete data. Since Tanzania’s total population is more than 40 million that would suggest an albinism community of about 30,000. A census is underway, however, and the Albinism Association of Tanzania believes the total figure could be more than 150,000.
People living with Albinism suffered in the hands of fellow Africans
The human rights organization Amnesty International quoted the Malawian police’s description of the gruesome murder of Mr. Machinjiri: “About four men trafficked him to Mozambique and killed him. The men chopped off both his arms and legs and removed his bones. Then they buried the rest of his body in a shallow grave.”
There are superstitions in some parts of Africa that albino body parts bring wealth, power or sexual conquest, and that having sex with a person living with the condition of albinism cures HIV and AIDS. Attackers sell albino body parts to witch doctors for thousands of dollars, according to Amnesty International. In Tanzania, some 75 people living with albinism were reported killed between 2000 and 2016.
Also, there have been reports of people living with albinism killings in South Africa; although such crimes are less common there than in Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi. Last February, a South African court sentenced a traditional healer to life in prison for murdering a 20-year-old woman living with albinism.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN agency that deals with human rights issues reported in 2016 that hunters of people living with albinism sell an entire human corpse for up to $75,000, while an arm or a leg could fetch about $2,000”.
In many African countries, it is sad and shameful the atrocious manner in which people living with albinism are treated; their lives are compounded by “exclusion, stigmatization, and denial of basic rights such as the right to education and health,” according to Amnesty International. People living with Albinism continue to experience social isolation and stigma which includes name-calling, mockery, and exclusion from certain community activities.
It is reported in Zambia that at least ten people living with albinism are murdered in ritual killings every year. Some believe their body parts bring wealth or luck. Those born with the genetic condition are calling for an end to this madness. There are more than 25,000 people living with the condition in Zambia.
According to the Albinism Foundation of Zambia (AFZ), Executive Director John Chiti, more than 25,000 persons with albinism in Zambia are currently in need of sunscreen lotion.
In an interview with Africa Renewal, Ms. Ero, said that the albinism situation in Africa, “is a tragedy.” She referred to the 7,000 to 10,000 people living with albinism in Malawi and thousands of others in Tanzania, Mozambique and other countries as “an endangered people”, facing a “risk of extinction if nothing is done.” Tanzanians call people living with albinism zeru,zeru, meaning “ghosts.”
Prevailing Superstitious Mindsets
Superstitious mindsets in some African countries continue to seek murdered for body parts, including infants and babies. Most of the attacks have taken place in Tanzania. Murders and attempted attacks, though in smaller numbers, have also been documented in Burundi, Kenya, Swaziland, Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, Congo, Zambia, Namibia, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso.
The Converson.com conducted research and looked at media reports published between 2008 and 2011 on albinism and murders in Tanzania. It published a data set of 563 media reports in both English and Swahili from Tanzanian national newspapers.
The data showed that the Tanzanian press portrayed and explained violent attacks against persons with albinism in four ways. They were:
“When I was at primary school, people used to laugh at me, tease me – some didn’t even like to touch me, saying that if they touched me they would get this color. People used to abuse me on the road when I took the buses to school. They would run after me – crowds of kids following me – shouting ‘zeru, zeru’. (zeru, zeru, is a derogatory term).
The Conversation.com has identified the following recommendations.
There is an urgent need to address the violence faced by this vulnerable group. Public health awareness is an important first step.
Adequate health services for skin and vision disabilities should be prioritized.
Putting out messages that counter the stigma against people living with Albinism is also important, as is access to education.
Interventions must consider Albinism’ human rights. For example, putting children with albinism in camps may protect their right to life and security,but it restricts their rights to freedom of movement, and family life.
In addition, African Governments should seriously advocate against harmful practices against people living with albinism. State parties should take all appropriate measures and offer support and assistance to victims of harmful practices, including legal sanctions, education, and advocacy campaign to eliminate harmful practices perpetrated on persons with albinism, such as witchcrafts, abandonment concealment, ritual killings, etc.
One thing for sure, the people living with Albinism did not create themselves; they were created in the same way you and I were created by the God who doesn’t make a MISTAKE. Their birth process is the same as you and me! Their mothers’ carried them for nine (9) months in their wombs before giving birth to them.
Who are we – be it an individual or government to decide that they should not live because they are different? Did God ask he needs our HELP to make His decision? The Almighty God does not need the assistance of mortal humans to run his affairs. The actions of those individuals perpetuating violence against persons suffering from albinism are no different than King Leopold II of Belgium, Adolph Hitler of Germany, Napoleon Bonaparte of France, and White racists today.
In Genesis 1:31(NIV): “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…” God himself said it was Good, NOT bad. God doesn’t create anything UGLY! So, why individuals, including governments, are killing these innocent people? In addition, 1 Thessalonians 5:22 instructs us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Accordingly, the GENOCIDE against these poor innocent people must be STOPPED!
Now, take a closer look at the beautiful tapestry of the people living with Albinism provided here. The question that readily comes to mind is any of you better looking than the people living with Albinism provided in these photos? I DOUBT IT! Therefore, let the persecution and killing of people living with Albinism STOP before the wrath of God descends upon us.
As Africans, it is embarrassing to read or hear that other Africans are discriminated against due to their race. Racism is contrary to God’s plan for humanity. The divisions we face today in contemporary Western nations are due to Race, the color of one’s skin or ethnic background. And obviously, this perception is not part of God’s plan.
In the words of Maya Angelou: “We, the black people, the most displaced, the poorest, the most maligned and scourged, we had the glorious task of reclaiming the soul and saving the honor of the country. We, the most hated, must take hate into our hands and by the miracle of love, turn loathing into love. We, the most feared and apprehensive must take the fear and by love, change it into hope. We, who die daily in large and small ways, must take the demon death and turn it into life.”
Mourners at a funeral of a 69-year-old man in Blinkwater village outside Giyani in Limpopo went on a rampage on Sunday when they discovered that his private parts were missing.
James Makhubele was reportedly believed to have died in a hit-and-run on August 3, but family members now believe he was the victim of a ritual killing and that his body was thrown on to the road to create the appearance that he had been hit by a car.
At the funeral, family members inspected Makhubele‘s remains and reportedly discovered that body parts were missing.
This sparked a vigilante attack during which mourners burnt down three houses, one belonging to a man whom they believe to be the suspect and those of two of his employees.
According to Sowetan, police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said a second post-mortem would be conducted.
However, a policeman at the local police station reportedly told the newspaper that the first post-mortem did not find that any body parts had been removed.
Incidents of mob justice continue to flare up throughout the country.
Last week, that two men estimated to be around 30 years old were murdered by groups of people in separate vigilante attacks in the Eastern Cape.
In July, in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, for stoning a murder suspect to death.
In the same week, two women were in the Ha-Mashau village in Limpopo. They were suspected of murdering a 12-year-old boy. Two suspects, aged 16 and 17, have been arrested.
The lifeless body of a 14-year-old boy was discovered at the back of the cemetery at Majozi village last Thursday morning. It is alleged that the body has a gorged skull and was missing its private parts. It is suspected that the deceased is another victim of ritual murder.
The enraged community of Masia allegedly set a suspect’s hut on fire on Sunday night. However, the man and his family managed to slip away by jumping over the fence at the backside of his main house.
The boy’s body was first discovered in the early hours of the morning by a group of women who were walking down the mountain from fetching wood. It was later revealed that the boy came from a neighbouring village, Masia.
The body was later identified as Nkhumeleni Mukhadi by his father, Mr Frank Mukhadi.
A suspicious finger pointed at a man for whom the boy used to perform odd jobs, after some community members said that he was seen walking out of a church crusade service with him on Wednesday evening (17 April).
Mukhadi is a heartbroken man, following the discovery of his son’s body. He believes that a bicycle was used to lure his son to the Phadinwe mountain, where he was then killed for muti. “There were fresh prints of a bicycle, which led us to the spot where Nkhume was killed,” he said. “We saw blood soaked into the ground.”
Nkhumeleni was a Grade 4 pupil at Vhangani Primary School. Mr Bernard Bopape, a teacher, said that the school was unable to accept that the young boy is no more. “We need answers to his death. We need to know who killed him and the motive behind the killing.”
Bopape said the pupils could hardly focus on their school work since everyone in the village was speaking about the pupil whose private parts had been cut off.
Cllr Sarah Makhuvha of Ward 7 maintains that she had received a sketchy report about the boy’s death from the ward committee and the deceased’s family. “There are community members who are maintaining that the man whose house was burnt had fetched Nkhumeleni from an evening church service and the boy never returned,” Makhuvha said. “To lose a child under such horrific circumstances is really painful.”
Makhuvha, the school and affected community members continue to hold meetings at the deceased’s house, as a way of trying to comfort the family of the deceased.
The police’s provincial spokesperson, Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi, said the police had opened a case of murder. “No arrests have been made thus far, but our investigations are ongoing,” said Mulaudzi. “We are also waiting for the doctors to perform a post-mortem.”
Mulaudzi added that the police had opened an arson case after a house of a man was set alight.
Chief Vho-Thanyani Masia called for calm in the village and requested the community members who might have information regarding the boy’s killing to supply it to the police.
When Limpopo Mirror visited the village on Monday evening, there was a large number of community members scattered about the suspect’s yard with the intention of setting the remaining rooms alight. The Vuwani police kept an eye on the situation from a short distance.
A refreshing sound. An honest voice. Though Dr Mbaimbai Hlathi was speaking on the theme of the day, which was ‘Traditional Medicine is the Answer’, his speech was more than a plea for traditional medicine. It also was a speech against age-old practices such as human sacrifices and muti killings – muti murders!
There is no place in a modern society for muti murders. Using traditional medicine means killing two birds with one stone: ending cruel practices such as muti murders which constitute serious human rights violations and preserving indigenous plants at the same time (webmaster FVDK).
Published: September 9, 2019 By: Elmon Tshikhudo – ZoutNet
A well-known traditional healer and president of the SADC Unified Ancestors Practitioners Associations, Dr Mbaimbai Hlathi, has called on traditional healers “not to tarnish their God-given skills of healing people with the use of herbs by using human body parts”.
Hlathi, who made a name for himself by helping many barren people have children, was speaking during a function to celebrate traditional medicine. The event took place on Saturday at the Giyani Stadium and was attended by many traditional healers from around the country, officials from the Kruger National Park, government officials and many community members.
The theme of the day was Traditional Medicine is the Answer.
In an interview, Hlathi said that celebrating and preserving traditional medicine as it had been used by communities for decades as an effective treatment was important. He further indicated that traditional healers should stick to their traditions and desist from killing people for ritual purposes.
“Our gods gave us a whole land for herbs that are used to cure the different diseases. Why should we go out and kill others for their body parts? We are saying it here that those who use body parts are not part of us. They are fake healers who are tarnishing our noble profession of healing people.”
He described them as “fly-by-nights” and said that they should be exposed and punished by the law. “Ours is the task to heal people and not to kill others in order to heal,” he said.
Hlathi urged traditional practitioners to take an effective part in preserving indigenous plants. He called on traditional practitioners to help save the rhino by not working with criminals, giving criminals muti to go and kill rhinos and committing any other crimes in communities.
In South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Mozambique, Burundi, in most countries in Southern Africa people with albinism are targeted, terrorized, attacked, mutilated, murdered, all for one purpose: muti. In recent years governments in some of these countries have taken measures to protect their albino-citizens. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania pledged to crackdown on albino killings (2015), the Malawian government ordered police to shoot in a bid to protect albinos (2015). Prosecution of suspects have started in various countries. Yet it is not enough. The attacks and killings continue. More needs to be done: education – to teach people that superstition, the belief in the power of muti is misplaced and that one cannot get away with murder – and the rule of law are key to eradicate these heinous crimes against innocent people who are born with a disability and have to live with it: albinism. (webmaster FVDK).
Published: June 2, 2016 By: eNCA
JOHANNESBURG – with hate crimes against people with albinism still rife across the continent, the African Union and SADC have been urged to do more on their behalf.
In South Africa,a campaign has been launched to try and put an end to this human rights crisis.
“There is a lot of energy worldwide to protect the rhino, we expect the same if not more energy to protect people with albinism. If they are being hunted like the rhino, how much coverage do they get, one rhino killed in Malawi or in SA the while world will know about it. But people with albinism their story is not told aggressively enough as we hear stories about the rhino.”
*View the attached video for more on the plight of people living with albinism in Africa.