Unusually, Lesotho witchdoctor Moeketsi Hopolong Mokoena 34 was charged in the Bloemfontein High Court on March 17. 2013, for killing 2 Afrikaner farmers and live-harvesting Van Wyk’s testicles and cooking them for food: According to the charge-sheet, Mokoena was caught boiling Mr Van Wyk’s ‘body parts’ after the farmer’s testicles were cut off while he was still alive, the charge sheet indicated. Since the South African government has passed the Traditional Health Practitioners Act of 2007, putting witchdoctors (sangomas) on an equal legal basis with Western Medical Practitioners, the reported number of ‘muthi-killings’ has also increased considerably, while the prosecutions for this cruel murders have dropped.

Since passing this law in 2007, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of muthi-killings too. They eat human flesh which has to be ‘prepared’ in a certain way to ‘strengthen’ the muthi, e.g. by slicing off the needed body parts while the victims are still alive: that makes them scream and feel terror and apparently the adrenaline created in their bodies ‘increases the power of the medicine’. At the Marikana shooting when the SA Police shot dead so many striking mineworkers, the testimony at the commission investigating the event was that the mineworkers had first ingested ‘human tissue and blood’ to make them ‘vulnerable to bullets’. The Traditional Healers Act 2007 was passed unanimously by the majority ANC-government.

Self-admitted ‘witchdoctor’ (sangoma, traditional healer, shaman) Moeketsi Hopolong Mokoena, 34, appeared before Judge A.Kruger in the High Court, accused of two murders of Afrikaner farmers: Jan van Wyk 82 and Basie Venter 65. The charge sheet indicates that Mokoena—who is a citizen of neighbouring Lesotho (most of its citizens have migrated to South Africa and are now permanently settling in SA)—was caught by security guards on Van Wyk’s farm Jakkalsfontein. He is accused of killing Mr Van Wyk and then mutilating and cooking/eating his body-parts. The documents before the courts show that Mokoena was caught in the act of cooking Mr Van Wyk’s body parts when he was arrested with all the evidence. His trial was postponed to 22 April.

Mokoena’s alleged killing spree started on March 30, 2009, when he murdered Afrikaner farmer Basie Venter (65) on the Free State farm Biesiesvlei; bludgeoning Venter to death in front of his wife Mary. The charge sheet notes that that evening, Mokoena had arrived on the farm and asked for food from the Afrikaner family. While Mary Venter was fixing the black man a meal in the kitchen, she heard the dogs suddenly start barking and saw Mokoena bludgeoning her husband with a large iron bar. The Venter couple’s farmworkers tried to track Mokoena down but he escaped in the dark. Venter died on the scene. The next day, security guards were tipped off to go to Mr Jan Van Wyk’s farm about 5km away because a friend had received no response from the old man when he had called to him from outside his homestead. When the security-guard unit showed up on the Van Wyk farm they saw Mokoena seated on the porch, wearing only a shirt and underclothes. His legs were bloodied. He ran into the farmer’s homestead and closed the door—and attacked the guards when they tried to enter. They made a citizen’s arrest of Mokoena and called the police.

Van Wyk’s home was ‘coated in blood’ inside, and his ‘badly mutilated body’ was found in the living room. It is alleged that he died when his throat was cut. Some of his bodyparts (details not known but earlier reports indicate that Mr Van Wyk’s testicles had been cut off while he was alive) were found cooking on a stove inside the homestead. A year after the murders Mokoena had been declared criminally insane and remanded into the custody of the President as a mental patient. However the charge sheet shows that the State now considers Mokoena ‘cured after successful treatment’ and that he is mentally competent to stand trial for the two gruesome murders.

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