Swaziland / Eswatini: Soldiers torture man accused of ritual murder

Msombuluko Mantimakhulu and two teenagers who are allegedly his cousins were arrested by police and soldiers and accused of involvement in the disappearance of Mantimakhulu’s sster-in-law. Relatives accused Mantimakhulu of ritually murdering his sister-in-law, using her body parts for ‘muti’ purposes. It’s election time in Swaziland, hence people fear ‘muti murders’ by ambitious politicians who sometimes hire other people to do the dirty work.

After all, recently, “(…) his Majesty the King (…) warned against ritual killings. He said now that it was elections time, there were people who believed that if they used human body parts, they would be successful. The King warned that such should stop and gave an example that it appeared the people who performed rituals sometimes targeted people with albinism people. He said the ritual killers believed that a person who had albinism would bring luck. His Majesty then said this was not true and that such should not be practiced.”

Msombuluko Mantimakhulu and the two teenagers were heavily beaten and tortured. The soldiers tried to extract a confession. It all happened last month. It’s a frightening story about the abuse of power by law enforcement officiers. It turned out later, that Mantimakhulu’s sister-in-law was alive and had gone to stay with her relatives. 

It is not known what happened to those who were responsible for torturing Msombuluko Mantimakhulu and the two teenagers. The rule of law in the kingdom of King Mswati III leaves a lot to be desired….
(FVDK)

Swaziland / Eswatini: Soldiers torture man accused of ritual murder

Published: August 5, 2023
By: Joseph Zulu – Times of Swaziland

MAFUCULA – When his sister-in-law vanished, Msombuluko Mantimakhulu had no idea that her disappearance would leave him with injuries all over his body.

Mantimakhulu, who works in South Africa (SA), had returned to his home area around Mafucula, but it is alleged that his sister-in-law then disappeared. It was gathered that her in-laws did not know where she had gone, but feared that she had been murdered. He said some of the relatives were of the view that because it was general elections time, maybe she had been kidnapped and then killed for ritual purposes.  They allegedly accused him of  killing  his sister-in-law for body parts. Mantimakhulu said some of the family members were of the view that he was involved in her disappearance. He said he did not have a reason to kill his sister-in-law, because they were close and that he sometimes  even gave her some money.

Trouble

According to Mantimakhulu, trouble started when the matter was first reported to the local community police that a woman was missing. He said when the community police were called, they picked up two teenagers who are said to be Mantimakhulu’s cousins. Mantimakhulu alleged the community police members assaulted the two teenagers, so as to force a confession from them. He alleged they beat the children then also handcuffed them to keep them from running away. “It is not right to handcuff children,” he said. The children are alleged to have been tortured for over an hour, demanding that they reveal who killed the woman. 

When Mantimakhulu was asked why the teenagers were accused of killing the woman, he said he did not understand why but that he was the target. He said they wanted to force the children to confess that he was the one who had killed his sister-in-law. He said as if the assault was not enough, the men allegedly took the children to a nearby pond where they were assaulted. Mantimakhulu said the community police members then allegedly dipped the children’s into the pond and threatened that they would drown them. 

Threatened

Mantimakhulu alleged that the children’s heads were held under the water and threatened that they would be drowned if they did not reveal who killed the woman who was missing. He purported that after realising that they were not getting any answers from the children being assaulted, the police from Tshaneni Police Post were called in. He said police officers also arrived to investigate the disappearance of his sister-in-law, whom at the time, it was alleged she had been murdered. 

He alleged that after he was suspected of having killed his sister- in-law, the matter was then reported to the police. Mantimakhulu said police officers from Tshaneni were called, and that they went to interview him over the allegedly missing woman. However, unlike the community police members, the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) officers are said to have refused to arrest Mantimakhulu and then left, leaving him at the homestead in Mafucula, around a place known as Duma.

Arresting

Mantimakhulu then said after some of the family members noticed that the police officers had left without arresting him, they then decided to call some soldiers who are said to be based around Maphiveni near Simunye. It is alleged that about four soldiers then pounced on Mantimakhulu on July 27, 2023, at around noon. Mantimakhulu said when the soldiers arrived, he told them that the police officers had already spoken to him and that they left him behind because they did not believe that he had murdered his sister-in-law. 

However, the soldiers are said to have responded that they were not like police officers. He said the soldiers told him that police officers do not want to work. Mantimakhulu said before they began assaulting him, they told him that by the time they left, they would make sure that he revealed how he allegedly killed his sister-in-law. “I told them I am not a killer, but they did not want to hear my side of the story,” said Mantimakhulu. Mantimakhulu said the soldiers then began to assault him and that they hit him all over his body. He alleged that he was kicked, and then forced to confess that he had killed his sister-in-law. “I refused to agree to something I did not do,”  he said. He mentioned that he was punched, kicked with boots and blunt objects, but he could not tell what they were using to assault him. 

He said he was then taken to a nearby lake, where he was allegedly submerged into the water so that he did not come up, out of the water. “I felt like I was drowning,” he said. He said one soldier who pressed against his body with foot while another would press against his head while being held under the water. Mantimakhulu said the soldiers continued assaulting him for several hours. He said no matter how many times he cried for them to stop, they continued assaulting him until they stopped when they realised that he had not killed anyone. 

Assault

He also revealed that before they began to assault him, they warned some of the nearby residents against taking videos of the alleged assault. antimakhulu said they used vulgar language, as they assaulted him, demanding that he should reveal what he did to his sister-in-law. It turned out later, that the woman was alive and had gone to stay with her relatives. Mantimakhulu said his sister-in-law had left without telling anyone because there were some disputes at their home. He was also asked why some of the family members suspected that he had killed her. He said he did not know the reason but that it could be that they found some fencing material belonging to her in his house. He said maybe with this information, they could have concluded that he had killed her and taken some of her fencing material. 

“I have no reason to kill the woman,” he said. Sipho Mngomezulu, an uncle to Mantimakhulu said he was shocked at the manner in which his nephew was treated. He alleged the soldiers beat him as if they were killing him. Mngomezulu also alleged that the matter was reported to the police but that they had not taken any action to arrest the soldiers. Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati, speaking through Inspector Mazwi Ndzimandze said the assault had not been reported to the police at Tshaneni. Also, Ndzimandze said there was also no case of a woman reported to have gone missing, but was later found alive.  

Mantimakhulu, when told that the police said they were not aware of his assault, said this was not true. He said instead they allegedly told him they would not be able to arrest the soldiers. Mantimakhulu said the police told him that soldiers always protected each other and they would not handover their colleagues to be arrested by the police.  Lieutenant Tengetile Khumalo, the Public Relations Officer for the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) was called regarding the alleged assault by the soldiers who are based at the Maphiveni unction, leading to Tshanenini, Simunye or Lomahahsa. She had not responded to the questions sent to her at the time of compiling the report. 

Khumalo was also asked if there was any means members of the public in such circumstances could report if they were not treated fairly. 
Noteworthy, Mantimakhulu insisted that both matters had been reported to the police and that officers from Tshaneni Police Station even interviewed him about his sister-in-law when it had been alleged that she was nowhere to be found, that she may have been killed. 

Meanwhile, his Majesty the King, in his speech during the Correctional Day and Pass-out Parade warned against ritual killings. He said now that it was elections time, there were people who believed that if they used human body parts, they would be successful. The King warned that such should stop and gave an example that it appeared the people who performed rituals sometimes targeted people with albinism people. He said the ritual killers believed that a person who had albinism would bring luck. His Majesty then said this was not true and that such should not be practiced.

Source: Soldiers torture, beat man accused of killing sister-in-law

Introducing eSwatini / Swaziland – click here

Cameroonian woman kills sister-in-law, chops body for ritual

It is relatively rare that ritual murder cases are being reported from Cameroon though this does not mean that these atrocious practices do not occur in this Central African country. I’ve explained on previous occasions that my continuous search for ‘muti’ murders, ‘money rituals’, ritual killings and other superstitious practices suffers from a bias. As a result, more cases from anglophone countries than from francophone and lusophone countries are being brought to my attention.

Though both French and English are official languages in Cameroon, eight out of its ten regions are primarily francophone. Hence, francophone media dominate the news which may explain the underreporting of Cameroonian ritual murder cases on this site. (webmaster FVDK)

Cameroonian woman kills sister-in-law, chops body for ritual (Videos, Photos)

Warning: article contains graphic details (webmaster FVDK):

Cameroonian woman kills sister-in-law, chops body for ritual (Videos, Photos)
Published: August 23, 2022
By: TSJ Reporter – The StreetJournal, Nigeria

More articles on the same murder case:

Woman Kills Sister-In-Law, Chops Body For Suspected Money Ritual

Published: August 23, 2022
By: Rachel Okporu – Naija News, Nigeria

Marie France Mbea, a 57-year-old Cameroonian woman, has been arrested for allegedly killing her sister-in-law for suspected money ritual.

Naija News gathered that the culprit killed the woman and chopped her body in a hotel in Yaoundé’s Biyem Assi area.

Marie was intercepted on Monday, August 22, 2022, while leaving the hotel with the body parts stuffed in a suitcase.

According to Local Media, the suspect claimed she had a phone conversation with an unidentified man who directed her to murder her sister-in-law in exchange for money.

She checked into the hotel with the victim where she used a beer bottle to hit her on the head and slit her throat.

Marie fled the hotel on Sunday night after killing her sister-in-law, only to return on Monday carrying a machete and a travelling bag.

When the hotel administration saw that she was carrying something too heavy for her and refused offers of assistance, they became suspicious and called the police.

The suspect, during interrogation at Yaounde police headquarters, admitted that the body parts were intended to be transferred to a man in exchange for money.

Source: Woman Kills Sister-In-Law, Chops Body For Alleged Money Ritual

Bulawayo residents live in fear of ritual murders (Zimbabwe) 

There is no doubt. Ritual murders are rampant in Zimbabwe. Significantly, still in May last year President Mnangagwa appealed to the general public, to traditional healers and to witch doctors to stop killing people for ritualistic purposes. See my posting Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa: ‘Stop ritual killings!’

I’ve posted earlier reports on ritualistic activities and murders in Zimbabwe including Matabeleland. The article below focuses on Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city and the largest city in Matabeleland. Its population is estimated at about 1 million.

One may think that traditional beliefs including the superstitious belief in the supra-natural powers of ‘muti’ persist mainly in the rural areas. The article below indicates that migrants from rural regions who settle in urban centers bring with them their cultural values and religious beliefs including, unfortunately, traditional repulsive activities which violate the law.
(webmaster FVDK)

Bulawayo Residents Live In Fear Of Ritual Murders

Published: June 30, 2022
By: Zimeye – Zimbabwe

Panic has gripped Bulawayo residents following a spike in suspected ritual murders in the city.

A number of mutilated bodies have been discovered in the city over the past few months, while some residents have been reportedly kidnapped and their blood drained by unknown culprits still at large.

Over the weekend, a yet to be identified woman was found dead with missing body parts at the 21km peg along the Bulawayo-Plumtree road.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson, Ambrose Sibindi told Southern Eye that there were several reports of such incidents happening in Bulawayo and other parts of Matabeleland.

He appealed to law enforcement agencies to devise ways to curb such cases.

“Inexplicable stories are now common, lawlessness has become the norm. People are now behaving like animals,” Sibindi said.

“I would like to urge residents to shun boarding private cars. If possible the law enforcement teams in plain clothes must be on alert at transport pick up points to effectively deal with these shady activities.”

Bulawayo United Residents Association chairperson, Winos Dube said: “We are disheartened and disappointed as residents to learn that these activities are taking place among our people. Ritualism is becoming a menace and people have to be very vigilant. They shouldn’t board unknown vehicles belonging to people they do not know.”

Dube advised the commuting public to use public transport to avoid such dangers.

Recently, the owner of a shop at Kelvin was kidnapped after boarding a Honda Fit vehicle with unidentified women. They took the victim to a secluded bushy area where she was injected with an unknown substance which made her unconscious.

The suspects, who are still at large, allegedly drained blood from her body for suspected ritual purposes. They then dumped her some 15km from Kensington.

National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said all the incidents would be investigated.

“I cannot say it’s ritualism; we are conducting an investigation to find out what really transpired so that the truth comes out,” Nyathi said.

Source: Byo Residents Live In Fear Of Ritual Murders

Southern Africa: shocking details of ‘muti’ murders

Warning: the following article contains graphic details, the reader may find the article shocking.

The following article from Eric Naki, the Political Eitor of The Citizen, a South African online news magazine, contains several frank observations which are worth specifically mentioning here.

First, Naki, citing an expert on ritual murders, Dr Alunamutwe Rannditsheni, from Limpopo province, tells us that ritual murders are a worldwide phenomenon, occurring not only in Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa. I am very happy with this expert-observation even though it results in mixed feelings because of its sad contents. I have also mentioned it in my introduction to this website on ritual killing, witchcraft and superstition in African countries (‘Why publish this site‘).

Secondly, reportedly, kidnappings, human trafficking, and ritual murders, often referred to as ‘muti murders’, are well-known crimes in nearly all 16 member-states of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).  This is shocking. The combined population living in the 16 SADC-countries totals about 300 million people.

Lastly, the well-informed author confirms the ghastly details of the way muti murders are committed. Organs or other body parts are extracted live from the poor and helpless victims, not seldom children. The reality is sometimes too hard to describe and too revolting to imagine.

Ritual murders, human trafficking, kidnappings, and associated fear and torture are a plague in many African countries and must stop immediately. To the governments which have a sacred obligation to protect their citizens I would say: ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’ (webmaster FVDK).

Muti murders: ‘Genitals only work if cut from live victims’

Published: May 20, 2021
By: The Citizen, South Africa – Eric Naki

Victims were lured with promises of jobs, but when they arrived at the destination, they would be abducted and taken away to have their body parts cut off.

An expert on ritual murders, Dr Alunamutwe Rannditsheni, from Limpopo, said ritual killings were a worldwide phenomenon and not only an African problem.

Almost all of the SADC countries experienced ritual killing-related kidnappings and human trafficking.

A 2008 investigation by the Human Rights League in Mozambique found such murders were rife in the country. It found people were trafficked between countries with the purpose to remove parts to be trafficked separately.

The league, which interviewed survivors, eye-witnesses, families of victims and civil society in Mozambique and South Africa, found body parts were forcibly removed from children and adults, causing death or severe disability.

“Throughout the report, informants share personal experiences, which confirm that body parts are taken across the border between South Africa and Mozambique.”

A custom’s official in Sofala province, Mozambique, said: “They say the treatments with genital organs only work if they are taken from a person alive.”

In some instances in Mozambique, victims were beheaded before the parts were removed.

“The murderer cut her throat like she was a goat. He cut her head just like that and removed her genital organs, leaving all the rest,” the report quoted a police officer at Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique as saying.

In another case, a female stall holder at Ressano Garcia on the border with South Africa was fingered for ritual murders.

“The police searched and found that she was carrying genital organs of adult men … I don’t know how many exactly, it was several. But they were from adult men, I saw them myself,” an officer said.

Cases of muti killings were also reported in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi and Tanzania. People living with albinism were the main targets in Tanzania.

Community leader and businessman Phumudzo Mukhwati alleged the ritual murder gangs had spread to provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and Gauteng.

Victims were lured with promises of jobs, but when they arrived at the destination, they would be abducted and taken away to have their body parts cut off in Limpopo or a neighbouring country.

Source: Muti murders: ‘Genitals only work if cut from live victims’

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) comprises 16 Member States: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.