Four arrested for muti killing

mutiFour people have been arrested after residents of Matangari in Limpopo went on the rampage following the discovery of a woman’s body.

Police spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi says it’s alleged that the woman was killed for ritual purposes by a prominent local business woman.

He’s appealed to the community not to take the law into their own hands.

“Yesterday there was violence that erupted in the Matangari area where community members after having a session with us decided to take the law into their own hands following allegations that the lady has been killed for ritual purposes. As the police we are doing our best to make sure that the people behind the killing are brought to book at the same time we also want to appeal to people of Matangari, if there is anyone who have got information they can give to us. Four people have been arrested and we hope that such violence never occurs”.

Over 70% of South Africans surveyed as part of a recent  report on the trafficking on human body parts believe that human body parts make muti more effective.

“Although this stems from generalised questions, it does indicate a deep-founded cultural belief that body parts make the medicine more effective and that it can solve any problem, from poverty to health issues,” said Simon Fellows, author of a report entitled Trafficking Body Parts in Mozambique and South Africa.

“Witchdoctors, usually through a third party, actively seek human body parts from live victims,” he said.

The research was conducted through 30 regional workshops attended by 413 people in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State in South Africa, and Maputo, Nampula, Sofala, Tete, Delgado and Niassa in Mozambique.

The 139 people interviewed included members of human rights organisations, religious bodies, women’s movements, local authorities, police, municipal councils, community and traditional healer organisations.

Individuals surveyed included nurses, teachers, social workers, radio station presenters and even fishermen.

The interviews showed that those who approached witchdoctors for assistance sometimes had to part with more than just their money. Some were expected to sacrifice family members, even their wives and children.

Code of silence

In interviews with people who had experienced muti murders first hand, the research discovered that body parts of people killed in Mozambique were smuggled to religious leaders in South Africa who believe the muti will increase the size of their congregations.

“Muti murders are shrouded by a code of silence, where people are fearful of speaking out, allowing the practice to continue with little or no consequence for the perpetrators,” said Fellows.

He said in Mpumalanga seven cases had been confirmed, while in Limpopo only four cases of muti murder were confirmed.

There are well over 25 000 traditional healers in the country.- African Eye


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