From Namibia: “Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind”

A few days ago my attention was drawn by an Op-Ed article in an online Namibian newspaper, New Era Live. The article was entitled: “Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind“. It is a cry for attention, a cry for vigilance, a cry for leadership and for stiffer sanctions for those who are responsible for these heinous crimes, including traditional healers and – too often – relatives of the innocent victims, in many cases young children.

The anonymous author (a staff reporter) starts his or her plea stating “I want to share with you the excruciating pain that stabs my heart every time I read or hear about the senseless loss of life due to ritual or muti killings.”

I was shocked reading this. Is the present situation that bad? How frequent are ritual murrders (‘muti murders’) in Southern Africa?

I monitor relevant events in African countries with particular interest, as this site also demonstrates. Whereas I feel a kind of pride or joy when confronted with readers and/or reporters rejecting the repulsive practices of ritual or muti murders, it also hurts to see a confirmation of the plague that terrorizes too many people in too many African countries.

“One shudders to think about the many muti killings of people, young and old, that are happening almost on a daily basis in Southern Africa in particular, (…)”, the anonymous author continues. 

Also revealing is the following statement:

“A study carried out in South Africa by scholars Randitsheni, Masoga and Madzusi (2017) revealed that “[some] pastors, businessmen, traditional leaders and leaders are involved in ritual murders”.  The three scholars give more details of their research findings in their paper titled “Some perspectives on the impacts of ritual murders in the Vhembe district of South Africa: An interpretive phenomenological approach” which was published in the Journal of Social Sciences (Volume 48, Number 3).  This is not to give an impression that ritual murders occur in South Africa only. Other scholars who have conducted researches in this area have revealed similar results in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Eswatini, Uganda, and Namibia, just to mention a few countries. “

I am flabbergasted. At the same time I am proud of the author and everyone who thinks alike. It strikes me that this cry for justice, for the eradication of this scourge in our contemporary societies, comes from Namibia. Apparently, much more occurs beneath the surface in this Southern African country than one would think at first glance. The ‘New Era’ newspaper which published this op-ed is a leading source of community and national news in Namibia. Its owners and editors are to be commended for their courageous decision to publish this view. May many more newspaper owners, editors and journalists join the war against ritualistic murders in Africa.

Together it will be possible to eradicate this medieval belief in superstition. Nothing is impossible. “You never fail until you stop trying.”
(webmaster FVDK)

“Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind”

Published: October 22, 2020
By: New Era Live, Namibia

If you are reading this article, wherever you are, prepare to shed tears. Prepare to travel with me on this emotional journey, as I interrogate the evil that men do, that of ritual killings, which have left people questioning the essence of life, since some people can take it away from you or someone at once, just like that. I want to share with you the excruciating pain that stabs my heart every time I read or hear about the senseless loss of life due to ritual or muti killings. 

The world has turned topsy-turvy, completely upside down, and everyone’s life is at risk, either directly or indirectly. People fear for their lives and the lives of their children and loved ones. Everyone’s life is in danger as there are some immoral people who have taken the law into their hands, and can decide how many more days you are left with alive on this earth. It is horrendous.

The stonehearted murderers can be anyone ranging from, paradoxically, people closest to you, to complete strangers. The love of riches and fame, the eagerness to get rich quickly without working for it, and the love of power and fame have led people to involve themselves in atrocious, inhuman activities. One shudders to think about the many muti killings of people, young and old, that are happening almost on a daily basis in Southern Africa in particular, and elsewhere in the world. Research reveals that ritual killings are so rampant in Africa that some researchers have described ritual murder as a pandemic. The grisly killings of innocent victims, especially children and women, have shocked communities, societies and the whole world. 

Many unsuspecting victims have been lured by people they know and killed for ritual purposes. We have read and heard about small children and teenagers who have been brutally murdered by their close relatives. As you read this article, or as you sit there at home or in a classroom  – wherever you are  – always bear in mind that you may be a candidate for ritual murder. Many victims have lost their lives through the involvement of their close relatives or loved ones. In these cases, it becomes tricky for the law enforcement agents to prevent such murders as relatives and loved ones are supposed to take care of the children, and not to kill them.

The belief that a human being’s body parts or limps bring luck, riches and power to people has fuelled the crime of ritual killing. Corpses have been discovered without heads, private parts and internal organs, suggesting that these are the most sought-after parts to be used in muti or medicinal concoctions.  As the evil men harvest human body parts for their benefits, societies are traumatised, yet it is in these societies that we find the perpetrators of this heinous crime. It is in these societies that most of the killings are secretly planned and executed. The irony is that some respectable members of these communities promote these ritual murders for various reasons. Some of them are leopards clothed in sheep’s skins.  

A study carried out in South Africa by scholars Randitsheni, Masoga and Madzusi (2017) revealed that “[some] pastors, businessmen, traditional leaders and leaders are involved in ritual murders”.  The three scholars give more details of their research findings in their paper titled “Some perspectives on the impacts of ritual murders in the Vhembe district of South Africa: An interpretive phenomenological approach” which was published in the Journal of Social Sciences (Volume 48, Number 3).  This is not to give an impression that ritual murders occur in South Africa only. Other scholars who have conducted researches in this area have revealed similar results in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Eswatini, Uganda, and Namibia, just to mention a few countries. As I write, the Zimbabwean community is failing to come to terms with how a man could have allegedly taken part in the planning and ritual killing of his brother’s seven-year-old son. The account of the cold blooded murder of the fateful boy by the co-accused man, in this case, is available on Youtube for those who have the guts to listen to such a chilling narrative of a despicable act. 

 The ubiquity of ritual murders in Africa proves that the crime is a scourge in our contemporary societies. The crime is a cancer that is spreading in our societies at an alarming rate. The belief in supernatural powers and superstition are the driving forces of ritual murders and sacrificial killings in our societies. Traditional healers tell you, for example, that in order for you to be successful in life, you must kill your son or daughter, or someone you love dearly like your wife. Foolishly, some people believe this and they murder their loved ones for nothing. 
 It is also true that the moral fabric of our societies is decaying at a fast rate. The African concept of Ubuntu seems to be melting away fast, leaving a culture of violence in our societies. One result of the loss of Ubuntu is that the sanctity of human life is no longer respected; this is why some people can be hired to kill for money. 

Concerned researchers on ritual murders have gone to the extent of studying ancient civilisations. They have revealed that the bible is replete with sacrificial killings or offerings of human beings. In some religions, sacrificial killings happen today. 
In order to curb ritual murders, families should be vigilant and protect their children. Community leaders and politicians must denounce these killings at gatherings. Stiffer sentences must be imposed on criminals convicted of ritual murders.  Let us teach the love of one another as humans in our homes. Ubuntu teachings should find a place in our homes. Let us be exemplary to our children since psychologists have proved that children learn what they live. Say no to ritual killings and save lives.

Source: Opinion – Ritual killings: Cry my beloved humankind

Africa Map

South Africa: muthi suspected for murder of two Orange Farm kids

Allegedly, another case of muti murder in South Africa. Muti or muthi murder is the killing of a person with the intention to use body parts for ritual purposes to enhance one’s power, prestige or wealth. Muti murders occur frequently in Southern Africa, in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho and eSwatini (formerly called Swaziland).

All ritualistic killings, including muti murders, are based on superstition. Its occurrence is widespread but nobody knows the exact number of victims of these gruesome and heinous crimes. As can be seen from the picture below, it is not an imaginary phenomenon which exists only in the minds of the people. The mere suspicion of a ritualistic killing draws large crowds, expressing their indignation, their fears and their protests against these medieval practices which cannot be left unpunished (webmaster FVDK).

Muthi suspected for murder of two Orange Farm kids

Residents of Orange farm, south of Johannesburg marching after the discovery of bodies of six-year-old Simphiwe Mncina and eight-year-old Mpho Makondo in Extension 4. 
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Published: September 21, 2020
By: Sowetan Live – Tankiso Makhetha  

The discovery of bodies of two children in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, comes just five months after another child was killed in the same area under mysterious circumstances.

The community and families believe they may have been victims of muthi killings.

Mpho Makondo, 8, and Simphiwe Mncina, 6, were found dead on Saturday morning after they went missing on Friday night.

They were smudged with a black substance on their mouths and underneath their feet while a note, which their families did not see before it was taken by police as evidence, was left on Makondo’s body. No body parts were missing.

In April, Mzwandile Zitho was found dead in what his family believed was a ritual killing at a tavern about 2km from where community members discovered Mpho and Simphiwe’s bodies.

Mpho and Simphiwe, who lived three houses from each other, were last seen walking home from a salon about 400 metres from their homes. 

The two children had accompanied Mpho’s aunt, Malehlohonolo Malatji, to the salon. 

Mpho’s father, Moeketsi Malatji yesterday told Sowetan how horrified he was after finding his daughter lying naked, behind a boulder. 

He described the children as best friends who were always together. 

“The last person who saw them was my sister. They had gone to the salon down the road with her, but she told them to go home when it was getting dark at about 6pm,” Malatji said.

 “We started a search party with the community, and went into every household in our neighbourhood and we didn’t find them. We stopped looking for them at about 4am on Saturday.”

Malatji said he received a call from his daughter’s mother at about 6am telling him that they had found the children.

“I could not hold back my tears when I saw my baby’s body lying next to a big rock. She was naked, her arm was broken, she had a grimace on her face, and there was a black substance in her mouth and under (the) feet,” he said.

Their bodies were found a few hundred metres away from each other. 

Simphiwe’s body was dumped in someone’s yard and the note was left on his torso. He was not wearing any top and did not have shoes on.

His aunt, Lindiwe Mojafe, said: “They were innocent children. Why would anyone do this to them? They were never in the habit of playing too far from home. It’s very strange and scary how we found them. It has left us with more questions than answers.” 

A community member who found Simphiwe’s body told Sowetan that he thought it was a muthi killing. 

“I was going to work and I saw a body of a small boy in my yard. I was scared because I thought that people would think that I killed him and left him there. I called the police and other community members to come and see because I didn’t want to be arrested,” the community member said.

Police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said the motive for the double murder was yet to be established, while a postmortem will be conducted. 

“The investigation into this double murder will be prioritised and escalated to the Provincial Investigating Unit, in line with the SAPS position to prioritise the investigation of crimes committed against women, children and other vulnerable persons,” Peters said. 

Meanwhile, in the Mzwandile Zitho, 5, case earlier in the year, Pontso Mohlanka was arrested and charged for the boy’s murder but charges against her were withdrawn on August 28. 

Mzwandile’s grandmother, Nompumelelo Zitho, yesterday said she did not visit the scene where the killed children were found at the weekend because it gave her flashbacks of what happened to her grandson. 

“I am still trying to come to terms with it. It’s worse now because we won’t find closure. The investigating officer told me that charges were withdrawn because there wasn’t enough evidence,” Zitho said.

Source: Muthi suspected for murder of two Orange Farm kids

Ruth Zulu, Zambia: ‘Make laws to protect people with albinism’

People with albinism (PWA) in several countries in Southern Africa live in fear, notably in Zambia and Malawi, as the article presented below underlines. This is outrageous. People with albinism have basic human rights, just like everyone in their society. Governments should protect their citizens from these heinous attacks which are based on superstition. Murderers should not get away with their crimes. Laws are important to protect people, but law enforcement is equally important! (webmaster FVDK).    

‘Make laws to protect people with albinism’

Published: September 12, 2020
By: The Southern Times, The Newspaper for Southern Africa – Jeff Kapembwa

Lusaka – People with albinism (PWA) in Zambia have demanded strong legislation to protect them from misguided individuals who think culling their body parts can help them make magic potions.

The ritual killing of PWAs continues and stigmatisation of the pigment-related condition remains a challenge in many societies.

National Albinism Initiative Network of Zambia deputy executive director Ruth Zulu this week lamented the continued stigmatisation and murder of PWAs, saying the government needed a legal framework to specifically target these issues.

Such a framework, Zulu said, would also help mainstream albinism issues in national development.

In an interview with The Southern Times at a Zambia Albinism Awareness Programme workshop in Lusaka on Thursday, Zulu – an Environmental Engineering student at Copperbelt University – cited various incidences in which PWAs had been ritually killed or otherwise exploited.

“It is the obligation of our government under the leadership of President (Edgar)!Lungu to take up such a responsibility, answerably and enforceability. “Discrimination, marginalisation and social exclusion of PWAs have been reported as a global phenomenon and that is why we need apolicy to recognise these.

“The cycle of attacks, discrimination and poverty must be broken. There is value in having domestic laws and other measures which are unambiguous and effective protection of PWAs,” she said.

Albinism is a genetic condition that affects one in 20,000 people globally.

It is rare in people with lighter pigmentation and more common in Africa.

A Malawi court last year sentenced three people to death for killing a person with albinism.

The three chopped of the limbs of a person living with albinism with the intention of trafficking the body parts for ritual purposes.

Source: ‘Make laws to protect people with albinism

Liberia: adolescent girl tortured, accused of witchcraft

I’ve hesitated to include the article below on this blog – partly because of the gruesome nature of the described act, partly because of the graphic description of the treatment, obviously a form of torture, which family members inflicted upon a girl they accused of witchcraft and being responsible for the death of an uncle.

Eventually I decided to reproduce the article here and to share it with a larger audience. The reason why I choose to do so is because witchcraft lies at the bottom of their repulsive behavior. This site is focusing on superstition and everything which relates to it in a criminal way: ritualistic acts, ritual murders, ‘money rituals’ (Nigeria), muti murders (in Southern Africa), and – indeed – witchcraft. The fact that the ultimate victim, a young and innocent girl, was maltreated and tortured was another reason for drawing attention to this incident. Unfortunately, rape is a daily crime in Liberia and most perpetrators get away with their crimes. In Liberia, impunity seems to be the rule, and not the rule of law.

Therefore, again a warning: the following article contains graphic details of a form of torture (webmaster FVDK).

Liberia: Adolescent Girl Sodomized After Being Thrown Out for Witchcraft

Published: July 3, 2020
By: FrontPage Africa 

MONROVIA – A girl believed in her late teens has been sexually assaulted in her anus after she was thrown out of her family in Omega Tower Community on accusation on her being witchcraft.

According to a source close to the family, the incident occurred on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 night when she was asleep.

The girl (name withheld) was discovered early Wednesday morning lying helpless on the main road that links Montserrado to Margibi, crying for rescue.

Some community members felt pity for her, took her from the street, gave her food and water. They at the same time called the Women and Children Division of the Liberia National Police to take the survivor to hospital for treatment.

Her current condition has left community members blaming her family for neglecting her and throwing her out of the house after alleging that she confessed killing her 25 years old uncle (name withheld) in May of this year after a brief period of illness.           

A family source interviewed by this paper narrated that after the death of the uncle, the survivor and her partners were tortured and beaten badly on grounds that they are responsible for his death. This, according to the source, caused her mother and father to escape with her other siblings leaving her at the mercy of the family.

“During the night when her uncle died,” the eyewitness said, “that child was beaten by his family and a man who claimed to be a big man in the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) at which time they broke one of her legs.”

“After all the torture, they still threw her out of the house, they forgot to even take into consideration the danger it poses to her health, not only the aspect of rape.”  

“I do not know why people find pleasure in accusing innocent children of the act of witchcraft when, in fact, there is no way they can prove their accusations,” the eyewitness said in pity.

The eyewitness said after the death of the survivor’s uncle the family members brought a native doctor who said that girl and her partners were responsible for his death.

“After the native doctor was brought here, the family said that the girl confessed that she and her partners killed her uncle because he means them with food,” the eyewitness said.

The eyewitness expressed deep frustration in said aptitude adding that “I do not know who the man that did such a wicked act to a child in such condition.”

According to the eyewitness, the LNP Children Division was able to take the child to the hospital.

“What we are praying for now is not just the treatment of the child but an investigation being done to bring the perpetrator to justice and even the family because they were the ones who exposed her to such danger.”            

In Liberia, rape has become the order of the day with few out of many girls who have suffered such horrible acts from their male counterparts are lucky to get the needed justice.

With many perpetrators understanding that the justice system is very weak, they go ahead to sexually abused girls and walk in the street with impunity.

Source: Liberia: Adolescent Girl Sodomized After Being Thrown Out for Witchcraft

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

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

‘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

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

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

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

Published: August 14, 2019
By: Peter Ramothwala  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP

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

Related articles: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and:

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

Blinkwater village outside Giyani in Limpopo, South Africa

Mozambique: Arrests over murder of boy with albinism

People with albinism often face discrimination

Published: May 7, 2019
By: BBC – Jose Tembe – BBC Africa, Maputo

Police in Mozambique say they have arrested two people over the abduction and murder of a 12-year old boy with albinism. 

The suspects confessed to the murder, with one of them saying that they had killed the boy “to extract his bones”. A third suspect is being sought, police said. 

The 12-year-old’s body has been recovered. He was abducted from his home in the Muchelelene locality in northern Nampula province last week.

There has been a spate of killings of people with albinism in parts of southern and East Africa, with their body parts used to make charms and potions by witchdoctors.

In Mozambique, people convicted of kidnapping and killing albinos have been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Source: Mozambique arrests over murder of boy with albinism
Africa Live 6-7 May, 2019 (7:25) as it happened – BBC News
Jose Tembe – BBC Africa, Maputo

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