Posted on January 27, 2005

Kids ‘Killed for Muti’

Bheki ka Ncube, (SA), Jan. 24

Pietermaritzburg — An elderly man, his wife and their granddaughter are being questioned by the Tugela police after five children were found dead in the couple’s scrap car.

The bodies were in an advanced state of decomposition and police are investigating the possibility that the murders might be muti-related.

Neighbours believed the elderly man was involved in witchcraft.

Locals burnt down the suspect’s home and killed his chickens and dogs.

They said “imfene”, a monkey-like animal allegedly used in witchcraft, was seen running away from the burning house.

The children — two aged five and three age three — went missing from Sinqumeni village in Msinga on Saturday afternoon.

Their bodies were found on Sunday after members of the police’s dog unit joined the search.

Ntombifuthi Sokhela, the mother of two of the children who had died, demanded justice.

“I want this man hanged, so that he can feel the pain our children felt.”

Police spokesperson Bheki Mlambo said the elderly man had not spoken a word since his arrest on Sunday.

But, he added, his wife was co-operating with police. Mlambo said police had not yet decided whether to prosecute the granddaughter.

Another granddaughter was being sought, he added.