South Africa: employees blow whistle on ritual murder by bosses ‘to promote business’ (2006 case)

A chilling account of a ritualistic murder by unscrupulous businessmen who wanted to promote their businesses. In this case, justice delayed has not resulted in ‘justice denied’. A triumph for the rule of law in South Africa.

‘Better late than never’.

Warning: the following article contains graphic details which may upset some readers (webmaster FVDK)

Employees blow whistle on ritual murder by bosses ‘to promote business’

A witness says he came forward 16 years later because he suffered from nightmares and would hear voices.

From left Joshua Hlako, Marcus Makgatho, Amanda Makgatho and Khumbelo Mabirimisa who have been sentenced for the murder of Ronny Makgatho. 
Image: Suppied: NPA

Published: November 2, 2023
By: Shonisani Tshikalange, TimesLIVE – South Africa

Two Limpopo businessmen and their accomplices have been jailed after their employees testified how a man was kidnapped, his body dismembered, packed and taken to various businesses to “promote their prosperity”.

The victim, Ronny Makgatho, was taken from Soshanguve to Limpopo in 2006 for the ritual murder.

The Polokwane high court has now convicted and sentenced the two businessmen, Joshua Phuthi Hlako and Marcus Maropeng Makgatho, and their co-accused, Amanda Makgatho and Khumbelo Mabirimisa.

Judge Gerrit Muller sentenced Hlako, Marcus Makgatho and Mabirimisa to 22 years’ imprisonment for murder, seven years for kidnapping and four years for defeating the ends of justice. The female accomplice was sentenced to seven years direct imprisonment for kidnapping.

The National Prosecuting Authority said Ronny Makgatho was killed in Seshego by Hlako and Amanda Makgatho with their co-accused Mabirimisa, after being abducted in Soshanguve.

Hlako had transport, farming and sale of liquor businesses. Marcus Makgatho was in hospitality.

Ronny Makgatho was Amanda and Marcus’s cousin.

During the trial, the court heard that the first state witness, who was testifying in return for indemnity from prosecution under section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act, had reported the crime after 16 years.

“He testified that he worked for businessman Hlako since 2001 and that all that he was directed to do [participating in the ritual murder] formed part and parcel of his duties. This was put to him to establish why he never reported this matter to the police. He testified that the reason is that his employer Hlako is connected to the SAPS in Seshego, and he was scared that what happened to the deceased could happen to him, an assertion that was never challenged by Hlako,” said NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi Dzhangi.

The witness said when he approached the police to report the offence, his fear was confirmed as he was detained, she said. No charges were subsequently levelled against him and he was released. He felt he could not make further attempts to report his boss as he feared the police.

“He was adamant that he was part of the team, and he did it under the instructions of his boss Hlako. He decided later to tell the truth because he suffered from nightmares and would also hear voices.” 

Malabi Dzhangi said a second witness also worked for Hlako.

“Both witnesses testified that on the day of the incident, they were with Hlako, Marcus, Mabirimisa and an unknown lady. Knives were brought into the shack, and Hlako was giving instructions.”

One of the group was instructed to write Ronny’s name in a notebook before they killed him in a shack at Hlako’s homestead.

“The body of the deceased was dismembered, packed and taken to various businesses to promote the prosperity of the business,” she said.

In aggravation of sentence, advocate Kobus Jacobs said the actions of the accused affected the lives of the deceased’s family, relatives, and friends.

The NPA has welcomed the sentence which director of public prosecutions advocate Ivy Thenga said would send a strong message to ritual murderers that the justice system will not tolerate any form of violence against humankind.

The court ordered that the sentences run concurrently with the sentence of murder.

Source: Employees blow whistle on ritual murder by bosses ‘to promote business’


Spilling the beans: workers disclose ritual murder where a man was killed and cut up to boost business

Published: November 2, 2023
By: Jonisayi Maromo, Independent Online (IOL)

Source: Spilling the beans: workers disclose ritual murder where a man was killed and cut up to boost business

South Africa: Limpopo courts to hear several cases including the 2006 muti murder of Ronnie Makgatho 

‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ but: the High Court in Polokwane will continue the trial of four businessmen and a woman who are suspected of killing Ronnie Makgatho for ritual purposes in 2006.

An amazing aspect of this murder case is that there is no dead body. The body of the victim, Ronnie Makgatho, was never found. Therefor it is to be seen if this trial wil end in a guilty verdict. How can you find someone guilty of murder when there’s no dead body?

Two of the five accused share the family name of the victim, Ronnie Makgatho. It is not uncommon that relatives are involved in ritualistic murders.

The first article presented below is silent on the background of the murder and also lacks many details. However, it seems obvious that this is a case of ‘muti’ murder, a ritualistic murder, based on superstition and motivated by greed.

The second article, published by Polokwane Weekly and shared on Facebook, contains more information. Warning: Some readers may find this story disturbing because of its explicit graphic content (webmaster FVDK).

Limpopo courts to hear several cases this week

High Court in Polokwane, LimpopoImage: Twitter@SECTION27news

Published:May 28, 2023
By:  Mahlatse Phaladi – SABC News

Several high-profile criminal cases will be heard in the High Court in Polokwane and other courts in Limpopo, starting from Monday.



Ritual killing

Another trial of four businessmen and a woman arrested for allegedly killing Ronnie Makgatho in 2006 will continue in the High Court in Polokwane.

The accused, Marcus Makgatho, Joshua Hlako, Hlako Mohafe, Khumbelo Mabirimisa and co-accused Amanda Makgatho allegedly killed Makgatho for ritual purposes.

Makgatho was reported missing in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.

The remains of Makgatho were never found.

Source: Limpopo courts to hear several cases this week

More background information pertaining to this case:



Published: May 12, 2022
By: Polokwane Weekly / Facebook

SESHEGO: A state witness in the murder case of Ronny Makgatho has detailed a chilling confession of the victim was killed.

The witness was testifying at the Seshego Magistrate’s Court during a bail application of the murder accused on Wednesday.

According to the witness, Marcus Makgatho traveled to Soshanguve Extension 4 where the victim was staying.

The witness says that Amanda Makgato alongside their accomplices forced the victim into the car and drove from Soshanguve to Seshego, where he was locked up in a shack.

The state witness said that Hlako and Makgato were both holding Ronnie Makgato’s hands and legs before he was brutally murdered for alleged business related rituals.

The witness has also told the court that the accused number 4 Khumbelo Mabirimisa was also present with an unknown woman.

He also told the court that the accused indicated that it was time to start with the job, before beginning with the murder process.

The witness said that Hlako said the victim should die a slow death when they were cutting him with a knife, so that they can get a lot of his blood. The witness also said that there were a bucket that was used to collect his blood.

The state witness also told the court that Ronnie Makgato’s body parts were cut by the accused.

The head was taken to Hlako’s Tarven, hands were taken to Makgato’s lodge. Other body parts were also taken to Hlako’s farm.

The court also heard that after taking the body parts of the victim to the accused’s businesses, the remaining part was buried at the same house.

The murder accused were all denied bail on Wednesday.


Also read: Muti murder confession sends police on wild goose chase
Published: April 28, 2022
By: Kamogelo Olaitan – Scrolla

Screenshot – excerpt from original article. Read the full article here


‘Muthi’ killing, shallow grave, relative bust

It has emerged that Ronald Makgato, who went missing in 2006, was killed for muthi-related purpose.

Published: April 19, 2022
By: Daily Sun

THE Makgato family was left shocked when a family member and his friend were arrested on Wednesday, 13 April.

They were bust by Seshego cops in Limpopo for the kidnapping and murder of Ronald Makgato, who went missing 16 years ago.

Ronald (27) from Mamehlabe Village, Ga-Matlala disappeared in 2006 while staying in Soshanguve, Tshwane.

A witness tipped off his family and the police in 2020.

It’s believed that one of Ronald’s relatives and his friend allegedly killed the victim for muthi purposes, and they apparently buried his body in a shallow grave.

Ronald’s sister, Granny Makgato-Leboho, said it has been hard for the family not knowing their brother’s whereabouts. “When the police arrested my relative and his friend, we knew we were close to getting the truth about what happened to my brother.” 

She said the witness told them that Ronald was given a drug before he was taken to Zone 4 in Seshego, where he was murdered.

“We were told he was dismembered and his body parts were taken for muthi purposes. It’s so painful that my own relative saw it fit to kill his own for his evil intentions.”

Limpopo police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mamphaswa Seabi confirmed that two suspects, both aged 64, were bust and charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

“They briefly appeared in the Seshego Magistrates Court last Thursday, and their matter was postponed to 28 April for formal bail application while the police investigations continues. The body of Ronald has not yet been recovered,” Seabi said.

Source: ‘Muthi’ killing, shallow grave, relative bust