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TV Channel4 - Oct. 17, 2008 Unreported World: Body Parts For Sale

Channel 4's foreign affairs strand investigated South Africa's "Muti Murders".

The eye-opening documentary reveals how hundreds of people across the country are being killed for body parts.

Reporter Ramita Navai and producer James Brabazon begin their journey in the Eastern Cape where 18 people have been brutally murdered in a nine month period.

Various body parts have been removed from the victims, leading traditional medicine healers, called Sangomas, to be blamed for their deaths. Though the police have arrested 14 men, locals are convinced the masterminds are still at large.

Few people survive Muti attacks, but Navai finds one woman who has - and it's a horrifying story. (...)
The team talk to a Sangoma who admits that he has killed three people, and explains the rituals. (...)

As Muti murders and mutilations become more and more common place, it seems there's no end in sight. But while the healers promise health and good fortune, this perversion of traditional medicine brings many desperate South Africans only fear and misery."
Broadcast on TV Channel 4,
see full text: October 17, 2008


Not only in Liberia
Ritual Killing South Africa (300 muti murders a year)

Freedom of fear is a human right
Rule of law an obligation of the state


Please note: web pages referred to in reported cases may be inaccessible without subscription or may have expired. Apologies!

  1. Mutilated body of man found on hill new

    Residents of Freedom Park yesterday woke up to a gruesome discovery of a man's mutilated body. Gis eyes were gouged out and a nose and left ear missing.
    The man, Nkosinathi Mokonyana, 39, from Green Village, was found dumped on a hill a few metres from his girlfriend's house south of Johannesburg.
    January 12, 2012

    Couple killed over witchcraft claim. Accused of killing their granddaughter and burying her in the yard new

    January 12, 2012

    "Overview" 2011:

    An 11-year-old-boy was abducted and mutilated in Soweto on Friday, said Gauteng Police new

    December 23, 2011

    Muti killer gets life new

    November 29, 2011

    'I saw them cut her' new

    July 22, 2011

    Sister stabbed for body parts new

    July 4, 2011

    'Where's the trust money?', muthi survivor asks new

    June 23, 2011

    44 protesters appear in court over muthi protest new

    June 22, 2011  

    No bail in child muthi case new

    May 13, 2011

    Cash for organs is no joke new

    February 25, 2011

    Mother kills son for muti - Sells his ear new

    July 1, 2010

    Previously reported cases 2011 and earlier:

    Radio report:
    Murder inquiry highlights trade in body parts

    The following is from a radio report by Ginnie Stein. It contains shocking data: more than 10 ritual murders in the vilage of Tlokweng only and: according to the South African police in 2001 almost 2,500 people were caught in possession of body parts. Since then no official figures have been released.

    ELEANOR HALL: In South Africa, the suspected ritual murder of a young man is driving concerns about the trade in human body parts in the country. The murder sparked angry protests and one demonstrator was killed by police, as Africa correspondent Ginny Stein reports.
    GINNY STEIN: In Tlokweng, a remote village in South Africa's far north, people are crying out for answers. They want to know who killed 24-year Thabiso Moloi and why the police have failed to investigate his murder. They fear a serial killer - one who murders to cultivate human body parts has struck again.
    GINNY STEIN: Police are reluctant to investigate "muti" murders, as the killing of people for their body parts is known. But in Tlokweng the community is no longer prepared to wait, for Thabiso Moloi is not the first suspected victim.

    MOTSISI MOGAPI: I think this guy is almost the 13th guy or 14th guy. So…

    GINNY STEIN: In this village?

    MOTSISI MOGAPI: In this village. So we are tired.


    GINNY STEIN: While speaking out about ritual murder in South Africa is uncommon, the reaction of authorities is predictable. There is reluctance at all levels to address the issue.

    MOTSISI MOGAPI: At one stage the premier of this province said to me, "shut up".

    GINNY STEIN: Police don't keep statistics of how many people die in ritual murders but in 2001 they did release a very revealing figure. In that year almost 2,500 people were caught in possession of body parts.

    This is Ginny Stein reporting from Johannesburg for The World Today
    June 6, 2011

    Protest over ritual killings subsides in Tlokweng
    Tlokweng returned to normal (....) after violent protests over ritual killings left two dead and one injured. (....) Two people were shot and killed and another injured during the protest sparked by the alleged ritual killing of Thabiso Moloi.

    Residents went on the rampage on Sunday after Moloi's funeral. His decomposing body was found in the bush and Tlokweng residents suspected that he was killed for muti.
    A car and house belonging to the owner of the tavern at which Moloi was last seen were torched and the tavern owner was intimidated.

    Government officials told residents that an independent team would be set up to probe ritual murders in Tlokweng over the past four years.
    June 1, 2011

    Protesters shot dead in Tlokweng
    North West premier Thandi Modise had to step in to calm a potentially explosive protest march in Tlokweng outside Swartruggens yesterday following the shooting to death of two protesters - allegedly by the police
    The protests started on Saturday following the discovery of the body of Thabiso Moloi, who went missing on April 15. The Moloi family said the police had failed to find him after they reported him missing and he was only found by residents a month later.
    After the discovery, thousands of local residents embarked on a protest, demanding the expulsion of the provincial police commissioner.
    June 1, 2011

  2. Ritual killing: shocking details emerge

    Pretoria - A man accused of killing a Soshanguve schoolgirl told a magistrate the child was still alive when her womb was ripped from her body during a ritual killing. This emerged in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

    Brian Mangwale earlier told another magistrate one of his friends strangled the child, and she was already dead when he cut out her womb and removed her breast, which he sold to a sangoma for R3000. Family members wept as details of the last hours of 10-year-old Masego Kgomo's life emerged.

    He denied ever pointing out Masego's decomposed body in the veld behind the Soshanguve train station eight days after she disappeared on December 31, 2009.
    May 12, 2011 

  3. Four ritual murder suspects to appear in court
    The four Zimbabweans who were at the weekend arrested in connection with the murder of a fellow countryman whose eyes and private parts they then removed in a suspected ritual murder in South Africa yesterday appeared in court.
    Innocent Muvembi (26), Johannes Chikukuta (31), Ngonidzahse Mapfumo (26) and Blessing Hove (17) were not asked to plead by a Musina magistrate.
    They are accused of killing Munyaradzi Muthetwa and then hanging his body from a tree in Musina to feign suicide. (....)
    After the murder they allegedly removed his eyes and private parts.
    March 15, 2011
  4. Killings for body parts return to haunt Limpopo province  
    The last wave of this problem in Limpopo was in 2006. Now the lull has ended, as cases of murder for body parts are being reported here and other regions of the country.
    Earlier this year, a decomposing body of a woman who had been missing for two days was found in a mealie field at Mavambe near Malamulele in Mopani district.

    Col Motlafela Mojapelo said the murder is a sequel to an incident where Grace Mphephu, 45, went missing after she took her child to a nearby clinic for medical treatment on January 21.

    He said the police and members of the community launched an intensive search for the missing woman until her body was found two days later in a mealie field close to Mavambe Village.
    Last month the mutilated body of a 74-year-old woman, Tsatsawane Macheke, was discovered in her house at Mahonisi Village with some body parts missing.
    Meanwhile, according to 2006 report of the Task Team on “ritual” murders in Limpopo, the resurgence of the murders in Limpopo has had a devastating effect on families and communities. Vhembe is one of the hardest-hit regions.

    The legislature hearings on the body parts murder in the Mutale area confirmed the view that many people are continuing to live in fear.

    Known ritual murder trials from the area include the highly publicised case of State v Shumani Dzebu, Mukondeleli Phosha and others, who were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Maanda Sendedza and attempted murder of Nyelisani Sidimela.
    Meanwhile, Sapa reports that four people were expected to appear in the Musina Magistrate’s Court yesterday for allegedly killing a man, removing his body parts and then making the crime look like a suicide.

    Munyaradzi Muthethwa, a Zimbabwean citizen, was found hanging from a tree near Mathombo Lodge on Friday, Lt-Col Ronel Otto said.

    Both his eyeballs and genitals had been cut out. Four Zimbabwean men aged between 17 and 31 have been arrested.
    March 15, 2011
  5. Muthi killing outrage  
    The rising number of suspected muthi killing victims is tearing the community of Malamulele in Limpopo apart.
    This comes after the discovery of the body of a 33-year-old local man at Mavambe in Malamulele.
    The body was found after the funeral on Saturday of a suspected muthi killing victim, Tsatsawani Maceke, 75.
    The dead man was identified as Stanley Hlungwani, a security guard who worked in Tzaneen. His father, Alfred Hlungwani, said (...) "We were shocked when people said there was a body in the trench next to the main road to Thohoyandou. When we went there we found it was my son," he said sobbing.

    He said this enraged the youths, who linked his son's death to the recent ritual murder of Grace Baloyi, 47, at Mavambe, and that of Maceke.
    The youth were also demanding the arrest of a Thulamela municipality official at Dovheni Village whom they linked to the death of Baloyi.
    February 14, 2011
  6. Police blitz nets 22 suspects  
    The suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists, car hijackings, robbery - and a muthi murder
    Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant General Amon Mashigo (said) "We also arrested five suspects in connection with the ritual killing of a woman in Malamulele. We recovered mutilated body parts."
    February 10, 2011
  7. Body parts found in plastic bag dragged by dog  
    Body parts suspected to be those of an elderly woman allegedly killed for muthi purposes were found being dragged in a plastic bag by a dog near a school yesterday.

    The dog dragged the plastic bag near Mahonisi Primary School in Malamulele, Limpopo, in the morning.

    "We saw the dog struggling to pull this plastic bag outside the school. We went outside the school to see what was in the bag. (...) "We found human breasts and lips in the bag. We could not believe our eyes," an eyewitness said.
    Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that police found lips and breasts in the plastic bag.
    The incident took place just days after angry residents of Mahosini and surrounding villages marched to the local police station demanding that the Malamulele magistrate's court should not grant bail to five "muthi murder" suspects.
    The five are accused of killing 74-year old granny Tsetswawani Maria Maceke, whose body parts were allegedly removed for muthi purposes.

    Maceke's corpse was found by her granddaughter covered in blood last Saturday morning in her RDP house at Mahonisi village near Malamulele. Her genitals, breasts, lips and eyes had been removed.
    February 10, 2011
  8. Mob sets home of freed 'muthi' man on fire
    Angry members of the community in Giyani took the law into their own hands by setting alight a house belonging to a man suspected of killing people for muthi purposes.

    The incident happened yesterday after the suspect's case was withdrawn by the Giyani magistrate's court for lack of evidence.

    Tangiseni Mdau, 57, and his co-accused Lodrick Vha-vhali, 23, were arrested in December 2009 for allegedly killing Thokozile Maswanganyi.

    They were arrested on allegations that they were involved in the killing of people for muthi.

    Mdau was acquitted after awaiting trial for about year.

    On hearing the news of the acquittal, residents of Nkurhi and Malonga set Mdau's house alight.
    One of the victims, Muitshekwa Mutshavha-tshidi, said she had tried to call the police on several occasions to come to their rescue but to no avail. "I have since lost confidence in the police," she said.
    February 8, 2011
  9. Son held for muthi murder of mother  
    A son is among those arrested after his mother was ritually murdered at Mahonisi village outside Malamulele in Limpopo.

    Tsatsawani Maria Maceke, 74, was discovered by her granddaughter in a pool of blood yesterday morning at her RDP house. Her private parts were removed, as well as her breasts, lips and eyes.

    This is the second muthi murder in the area in two weeks.

    Provincial police spokesman Colonel Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that two people aged 35 and 36 had been arrested. He appealed to the community for information.
    Meanwhile, the community of Mavambe last week gave Nathi Mthethwa, the Police Minister, 14 days to compel the police to arrest a prime suspect in the muthi murders that occurred in the area since 2008.

    Angry residents from villages in Mavambe and Dovheni marched to the Malamulele police station demanding Mthethwa's intervention.
    February 7, 2011
  10. 2nd inyanga up for muthi killing  
    A second Inyanga has been arrested in connection with the murder and mutilation of a 4-year-old girl in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, two years ago.

    Gauteng top cop Happy Vilankulu tracked down the inyanga to his home in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.

    "We found him busy throwing bones and telling people who had come to consult him about their future and other things. We arrested him," said Vilankulu.

    He said police seized a bottle allegedly containing human blood.

    "He was pointed out by the person he allegedly gave muthi. We have no doubt that we have got the right person because he was pointed out by the person he was allegedly involved with in the gruesome murder," he said.

    Vilankulu, who spoke to Sowetan while driving back from KwaZulu-Natal, said he was happy that he managed to trace the inyanga though he had fled the town in which he allegedly committed the crime.
    Last week, Vilankulu arrested another inyanga at a hideout in Mthatha, in Eastern Cape.

    The arrest came after a couple - a bishop of the Eden Church and his wife - were arrested in Katlehong on January 18.

    Monde Tokwe, 48, and Nolufefe Magasane, 50, of Mandela informal settlement appeared in the Alberton magistrate's court last Thursday.

    The four allegedly killed the girl and mutilated her body before it was dumped in an open veld.

    Police say the bishop consulted inyangas in a bid to boost the numbers at his church after membership dwindled.

    The inyangas allegedly told him to bring human body parts to help him bring back the members.
    February 2, 2011
  11. 10,000 in protest against 'ritual killing'
    Traffic came to a standstill in Malamulele, Limpopo, (....) when more than 10,000 people from six rural communities under Chief Patrick Mavambe marched to the Malamulele police station.
    They were protesting against the police's failure to arrest a prime suspect in a case involving a 46-year-old woman, Grace Chauke, who was allegedly killed for ritual purposes. Incidents of this nature are common in both Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

    The mother of six was killed between Mavambe and Dovheni villages on January 21. (....) Her body was buried at Mavambe cemetery on Saturday, but it was minus vital organs such as private parts, an eye and lips, which had been removed.
    A memorandum was sent to Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, in which he was aked to transfer the case from Malamule to the national specialised crime unit.
    January 31, 2011
  12. Inyanga held over girl's slaying  
    Gauteng police have arrested an inyanga who eluded them for the past two years over the murder and mutilation of a 4-year-old girl in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni.

    A couple - a bishop of the Eden Church and his wife - were arrested last Tuesday.
    Monde Tokwe, 48, and Nolufefe Magasame, 50, (....) appeared in the Alberton's magistrate's court in Thursday. 
    The inyanga was arrested in his hideout in Mthatha in Eastern Cape.

    "Police have discovered that the bishop and his wife consulted the inyanga and he suggested they needed to use muthi to get things rights at their church.", a source said.

    Top cop Happy Vilankulu tracked down the inyanga and brought him back to Johannesburg last week.

    "He has told the police where the girl was killed and how they killed her. Police are happy that all three suspects involved in this gruesome murder have been arrested and they all have confessed that they took part," the source said.

    The three allegedly killed the girl and mutilated her body before it was dumped in an open veld.
    January 24, 2011
  13. Couple appears in court over muthi murder
    They run a church and wanted to use muthi to grow the congregation as numbers were dwindling.

    A couple, arrested in connection with the murder of a 4-year-old girl in 2009, appeared in the Alberton magistrate's court yesterday. The couple was arrested in their home in Katlehong on the East Rand on Tuesday. The man and his wife allegedly killed the girl and mutilated her body before it was dumped. The body was found on September 26, 2009 dumped near Cash and Carry store in Katlehong.

    Gauteng top cop Happy Vilankulu tracked down the couple who run a church in the area and arrested them.

    Vilankulu has cracked many other muthi-related murders in the past, including the conviction of Vusi Sibiya and co-accused Xolani Kubheka and Siphiwe Khanyile, who killed Johannes Banda. In 2006, Sibiya promised Kubheka and Khanyile R2000 if they brought him a human head and genitals.

    He also arrested Elizabeth Thabethe, who was accused of killing her 12-year-old daughter Nomsa for muthi purposes.

    "The man, who is a bishop of a local church, has confessed that he killed the girl for muthi," alleged a source close to the case. "He said he was going to use muthi to strengthen his church. He said the number of members was dwindling and he wanted to bring them back."

    Vilankulu said the couple worked with an inyanga from the Eastern Cape. "Police are on their way to Mthatha to arrest the inyanga," said the source.

    Police said when the girl's body was found, her eye and parts of her body had been removed.
    They recovered some of the human tissue in which tests confirmed that they belonged to the girl.

    Police did not rule out the possibility of the suspects being linked to other cases with the same modus operandi that have occurred in the area.
    January 21, 2011
  14. Murder couple arrested  
    A Katlehong couple has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 4-year old girl, whose body had been mutilated.

    The Gauteng organised crime unit arrested the 49-year-old husband and his 51-year-old wife after following up on information they had received since the girl disappeared two years ago.

    The body of the girl was found dumped on September 26 2009 near Cash and Carry in Katlehong.

    Police spokesperson Captain Katleho Mogale said when the girl's body was found, her eye and parts of her body had been removed.

    "Police recovered some of the human tissue in which the initial tests confirmed that they belonged to the 4-year-old," Mogale said.

    The police are not ruling out the possibility of the suspects being linked to other cases with the same modus operandi that have occurred in the area.
    January 19, 2011
  15. Inyanga held for possessing body parts  
    Gangsters allegedly brought the severed body parts to the inyanga.

    Verulam's Cottonland community, near Durban, looked on in shock on Tuesday when police uncovered a foot and hand in the yard of an inyanga.

    The body parts, which police believe belonged to a man who was in his 30s, were found in two black bags at the back of an outside toilet on the inyanga's property.
    The police believe the inyanga might have bought the parts for muthi.
    The Verulam crime intelligence unit was tipped off by residents on Tuesday after they saw the inyanga talking to alleged gangsters carrying black bags.
    The gangsters apparently brought the severed body parts to the inyanga.
    Residents said they feared for their lives after the discovery. They said a corpse was found in the area two years ago and two children went missing. The residents, who refused to be named, said: "Two children have gone missing in this area and have never been found.
    August 5, 2010
  16. Taximan 'steals' boy for muthi  
    A Taxi driver has been arrested for allegedly trying to abduct an 11-year-old boy for muthi purposes at the sprawling Kanana shackland in Gugulethu on Saturday night.

    The boy went into a spaza shop at about 10pm with his sister when a Toyota Quantum taxi driver, who was buying from the same shop, sent him to "fetch" his wallet in the taxi. The driver followed the boy to the taxi and when the youngster was in the vehicle the man climbed in and sped off with him.

    The boy's mother, Nokuthula Maweya, said neighbours who saw her boy being whisked away alerted her.
    The police were able to corner the taxi in Lower Crossroads. The boy was returned unharmed but told his mother that the driver had said a sangoma named Gaba was waiting for his limbs.
    (...) The angry mother said the driver must thank his ancestors that the police were the first to catch him. (...) My brothers are spitting fire, and had they caught him they would be the ones facing the magistrate now."
    October 18, 2010
  17. I killed and mutilated my son, mother tells court  
    A Gauteng mother who stabbed her 5-year-old son to death before mutilating him, because she believed he was the source of her problems, has been convicted of murder in the Pretoria high court.
    Pinky Mmolai (not her real name), a mother of three, (....) earlier described the murder that happened in November 2008 in her statement.

    She said she killed her second son, Ntwana, because she could not cope with her financial circumstances, and feared the boy would become a criminal like his father.
    "I put him on the floor and stabbed him around five times with a knife I took from my mother's house. He died on the scene quickly due to the stabs," she said. "I then had the idea to remove his ear and private parts to divert attention from myself as the culprit by creating the impression that he was the victim of a muthi murder committed by an unknown person."
    Mmolai's trial was postponed to March 25 next year for a psychological report.
    August 24, 2010

    Webmaster's note (FVDK): Between 2010 (above) and 2007 (below) many cases of ritual killings for muti or muthi purposes have been reported. They will appear on this site in due course.

    Unfortunately, some of the links referred to below no longer exist. However, I have archived a number of them as well as other murder cases; this information will be included in a new site I will start in 2011, exclusively dealing with ritual killings in Africa. 

  18. Cops probe possible muti killing
    Police were on Wednesday investigating a possible muti murder in the northern parts of the Tshwane metro municipality (....) in Temba. The mutilated body of eight-year-old Tshegofatso Madidilala, who went missing at the weekend, was discovered on Tuesday. (....) It is believed she was raped and strangled, before several body parts were removed.
    Earlier this year, four men and a 14-year-old boy were arrested in connection with 10-year-old Masego Kgomo’s murder - another suspected case of ritual murder for muti purposes.
    March 10, 2010
  19. A 42-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly killing a woman and removing parts of her body in Thohoyandou, Limpopo police said today. The man's arrest follows the murder last year of a 35-year-old woman, said Ailwei Mushavhanamadi, a police spokesperson.
    March 31, 2007
  20. Ritual killing: Ex-guard held
    The murder apparently happened on December 9 2006, a day after the year-end party at Tsitsikamma diamond mine near Plooysburg.
    Modise said preliminary investigations were conducted, and police suspected that Sedumoeng was the victim of a ritual murder.
    March 19, 2007
  21. South Africa looks at ritual murders
    At least 50 suspected cases of ritual murder have been noted in South Africa's far northern Limpopo Province, according to a report (...). The report follows the establishment of a provincial task team into crimes of this nature and public hearings around the province, where cases of murder for ritual purposes - also referred to as 'muti murders' for the link to traditional medicine using human body parts - are widely reported.
    'Our people continue living in fear,' Nchabeleng said. 'They know that anything is possible at anytime.'

    Ritual murders have been reported throughout the country.

    Last year a young woman from Limpopo survived an attack in which her lips were cut off while her boyfriend died after his genitals were removed. Some weeks ago, meanwhile, a man lost his tongue in an attack reportedly also with ritual links.
    October 26, 2006
  22. Muti hijack foiled
    The continuous spate of ritual murders in Vhembe is a fact. This follows after Mashudu Munzhelele (35) of Tshifudi, Munangwa village, unexpectedly overpowered suspected ritual killers who wanted to murder him for muti purposes at the Mutshundudzi River on Monday.
    August 11, 2006
  23. The latest victim of ritual murder
    Ms Thinandavha was buried at her home village of Mulodi during the weekend. Her mutilated body was discovered at Mulodi Mountain last Sunday. Her upper lip, right handpalm, left ear and the front part of her breasts were sliced off. She was naked from the waist down and a rope was tied around her neck.
    August 2006
  24. Another case of ritual killing
    Pretoria police are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers of four-year-old Connie Ncube.
    In what appeared to be a muti killing, her mutilated body was found in a river in Nellmapius, east of Pretoria, in February.
    March 28, 2006
  25. Police accused of ignoring ritual murders
    Even in a country grown accustomed to horrific acts of violence, it is a crime that still shocks. ''Muti murder'', in which human body parts are removed to be used in traditional "medicine", is increasing in South Africa - but victims' families complain that the police too often ignore it.
    March 26, 2006
  26. In South Africa, where the government set up a Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft Violence and Ritual Murders after a spate of killings of boys aged between one and six in Soweto, it is estimated that at least 300 people have been murdered for their body parts in the past decade. The figure could be as high as 500 a year.
    April 8, 2003
  27. Head cooked for battle success
    A man's head was found cut open and barbecuing on a witchdoctor's spit not far from the Christian News headquarters in KwaZulu-Natal. The traditional healer, 76 year old Mzukuzuku Dlamini, told the police that he was preparing it to provide stronger "muti" (witchcraft medicine) for a faction of a local warring tribe, the Amabomvu.

    How to get a head in business
    The Mail & Guardian (October 9 to 15, 1998) had similar news (...): (...) "selling human body parts is a lucrative business in South Africa. Prices for eyes, breasts, brains or genitals range from R1000 to R10,000 - depending on the body part for sale ... most traditional healers are afraid to talk about this thriving bloody commerce." Their reputation for supernatural powers prompts businessmen to consult certain `sangomas' to help with "ukuthwala" (accumulation of wealth). The sangoma will recommend certain human body parts as ingredients to be used in brewing the muti.
    October 30, 1998
  28. Witchcraft and Ritual Killing
    Some Indian businessmen and traders in South Africa and Zambia are also thought to indirectly participate in ritual killings to secure medicine that will ensure the success of their businesses. There are, of course, ways around the outright killing of someone to obtain human tissue. In Johannesburg, a White police officer at a mortuary was alleged to be supplying traditional healers with human fat, harvested from the corpses he was paid to protect (Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft Violence and Ritual Murders in the Northern Province of the Republic of South Africa, 1995).
    Source: David Simmons 1999


Calls to make witchcraft a criminal offense
January 13, 2010

PhD Thesis: Traumatic Ritual Murders in Venda (2005)
By Robert Munthali
University of Pretoria (2006)

What is a muti murder?
See bottom of page

A 25 minutes movie on muti murders in South Africa on You Tube
An estimated 300 people are sacrificed every year in South Africa so that their body parts to be used in traditional Muti medicine. The figure could be as high as 500. Most of these are young children, tortured to death.

"It's done while she's still alive because the more she screams, the more powerful the Muti's going to be," explains crime expert Kobus Jonker, gesturing at the picture of a mutilated six year old girl. He was the first South African to acknowledge Muti murders and has set up a special police unit to deal with it. But Muti murders are notoriously hard to prosecute. "My son will never sleep in peace," laments Salome Chokwe. Her ten year old boy, Sello, disappeared when out herding. By the time she found him it was too late. His hands, genitals, tongue and brain had been 'harvested'. Most practitioners use nothing more sinister than roots and leaves to make their Muti. But belief in the power of human body parts continues to fuel a demand for the 'other' type of Muti.
Source: Journeymanpictures
November 22, 2007

Putting the spotlight on muti murders
Since the gruesome discovery of a young African boy’s torso in the Thames River in September 2001 in London, Oliver G. Becker embarked on an intensive study of the subject of muti murders. The young boy, known to Scotland Yard only as Adam, was brutally killed and slaughtered for muti purposes (...)
Becker has produced several documentaries and a scientific paper on the matter.
August 11, 2006

What is a muti murder?

"A muti murder is the killing of a person in order to use their body parts for muti African traditional medicine. The parts will often be taken from the victim shortly before death. Genitals are often taken for fertility spells. Internal organs are often taken, as are breasts, hands and feet.

African traditional medicine is not always magical in its methods, but it's safe to assume that any method, that for instance, requires you to cut off the genitalia of a fertile man, the hands of a prosperous business rival, or remove a man's liver while his dying screams give the medicine its potency is an attempt at magic of the blackest kind.

Often the sangoma will tell the client what parts are necessary for the spell, but will leave the deed up the to the client. Money often changes hands, and a complete stranger is seldom targeted. A family member or acquaintance is preferred.

Estimates of the number of muti murders range from one per month to one per day in South Africa alone. (...)."
Source: Everything2/StrawberryFrog





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