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: missing Giyani girl found dismembered and thrown in Klein Letaba dam

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

An 11-year-old child, reported missing on Monday, was found dismembered on Tuesday. Her body was thrown into the Klein Letaba dam.  
Image: 123RF/Paul Fleet

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.

Source: Missing Giyani girl found dismembered and thrown in Klein Letaba dam

Related article: 

‘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

Tiyiselani Nokuthula Rikhotso was reported missing on Monday, 16 March. Photo: SAPS

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.

Klein Letaba Dam. Photo: SAPS Limpopo

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

Source: ‘Ritual murder cannot be ruled out’ after body of missing girl (11) found in Limpopo dam

The Limpopo River Basin – South Africa

South Africa: Polokwane police launch manhunt after discovery of mutilated body

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

A passer-by made the gruesome discovery of a mutilated body near the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

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.

Source: Polokwane police launch manhunt after discovery of mutilated body

Polokwane – previously called Pietersburg – is the capital of Limpopo province

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

Zambia: over 50 arrested in Chingola riots after police allegedly failed to arrest a suspected ritual killer

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).

Chingola fire.

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.

Source: Over 50 arrested in Chingola riots

Related article:

Falsehood negatively affected law and order in Chingola
Published: January 9, 2020
By: Alice Nachilembe, The Independent Observer

Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga: What sparked the riot was news that a suspect behind the ritual killing was at Chiwempala police.

Africa’s shameful acts of racism: the plight of persons with albinism (PLWA) in Africa

Under construction – comments (webmaster FVDK)

Some of the protestors with various placards that called on the Liberian Government among other things, increase their budgetary support (Courtesy of Daily Observer, Liberia).

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.

Madame Janet Kakusa Wonani of Zambia, Founder/President of Light of The World Foundation. She works closely with children with Albinism in Zambia, irrespective of limited financial support.

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:

  • criminal activity,
  • cultural practices,
  • a socio-economic phenomenon,
  • a human rights issue.

Ms. Kway-Geer, the first Member of Parliament in Tanzania with albinism described her individual testimonials, first-hand accounts of difficulties as:

“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).

Recommendations

The Conversation.com has identified the following recommendations.

  1. There is an urgent need to address the violence faced by this vulnerable group. Public health awareness is an important first step.
  2. Adequate health services for skin and vision disabilities should be prioritized.
  3. Putting out messages that counter the stigma against people living with Albinism is also important, as is access to education.
  4. 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.

Conclusion

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.

The Albinism Society of Kenya held a Mr. and Miss Albinism beauty pageant in Nairobi to support those with the hereditary condition. (https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-46439699).

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.”

Indeed, Children living with albinism in Africa are our brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons, let us protect them always, they are all God’s children as well.

Source: Africa’s Shameful Acts of Racism: The Plight of Persons with Albinism (PLWA) in Africa

Africa Map

South Africa: deceased‘s missing penis sparks rampage in which angry Limpopo mourners torch 3 houses

Published: November 1, 2019
By: Howe Staff Writer

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.

Source: Deceased‘s missing penis sparks rampage in which angry Limpopo mourners torch 3 houses

South Africa: 14-Year-old Masia boy brutally murdered (2013 article)

Dead: Nkhumeleni Mukhado

Published: April 26, 2013
By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho

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.

Source: 14-year-old Masia boy brutally murdered

“Traditional medicine, not body parts, is the way to go” (South Africa)

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).

Dr Mbaimbai Hlathi (right) leads guests and traditional healers during the ceremony.

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.

Source: Traditional medicine, not body parts, is the way to go

‘Stop killing us for our body parts’: Albinism society South Africa (2016 article)

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).  

Johannesburg, 2 June 2016 – The African Union and SADC are being urged to do more to protect people living with albinism. Hate crimes against people with albinism are still rife across the continent.

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.

A recent victim was Thandazile Mpunza, a 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman, whose remains were found in a shallow grave last August.

It is suspected that she was murdered for witchcraft purposes because of her albinism.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) has taken up the fight.

CRL Commission Chair, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said, “We need to say as Africans we need to say not in our continent, you can’t continue with this thing here and as a continent we need to protect people with albinism.

“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.

Source: ‘Stop killing us for our body parts’: Albinism society

South Africa – Provinces