Swazi albinos plead for protection

2013-05-24 08:11

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mbabane - Swaziland's albinos have called on the government for protection ahead of elections expected later this year, fearing their body parts will be harvested by candidates seeking good luck.

"Those in authority must make sure that our safety is guaranteed," Skhumbuzo Mndvoti, an albino community leader living in the southern town of Nhlangano said.

"I can warn both adults and parents of albino children to take extra care during these election days," Mndvoti said.

Ritual killings are common in Swaziland, and elsewhere in Africa, with "muti" practitioners - a catch-all for traditional medicine and witchcraft - using limbs or body parts as amulets.

In the past albinos, who lack the skin pigment melanin, as well as epileptics have been specifically targeted, prompting the police to set up registries.

In 2010 the killing and mutilation of albinos, including in one instance the decapitation of two children in Nhlangano, prompted panic.

Twenty-eight-year-old Sipho Dlamini said such albino killings regularly take place, but in the past were masked by rumours about albino behaviour.

"People were told that when an albino dies, he would go and die far away where he or she would not be found. I think they were killed," he said.

Both men fear there may be resurgence in attacks in the run up to elections, the date of which has not yet been set.

Mndvoti blamed witchdoctors who mislead people into believing that using human body parts will help them win seats to parliament or prosper in business.

Witches and wizards

"Children should walk in groups to-and-from schools and they shouldn't be left alone at home."

"Adults should avoid walking at night since many of the ritual murders happen when it's dark."

The local albino community has threatened not to vote if no special security measures are taken.

Aspiring MP from Nhlangano, Mthokozisi Kunene said he sympathises with the albinos' plight.

He admitted that aspiring politicians are prime suspects to commit the ritual acts, but expressed hope "that won't happen this time".

"As Christians we have prayed that no ritual murderer or anyone who uses human body parts in attempt to win votes shall ever go to parliament," he said.

President of the Traditional Healers of Swaziland, Nhlavana Maseko said those who mislead people to use ritual murder to win elections or wealth are witches and wizards but not traditional healers.

"A witch is born and never trained but a traditional healer undergoes intensive training to heal people trough traditional means," said Maseko.

He expressed hope that a new law would help clear things up and stop the killings.

"We have a problem here in Swaziland of the colonial law called the Witchcraft Act which does not make a difference between a traditional healer and a witch or wizard."

"But the new Traditional Health Practitioners Act has given clarity between the two."

Voters began registering for elections in Africa's last absolute monarchy, last week, with unions and the opposition calling for a boycott of what they dismiss as a "rubber stamp" poll.

Candidates in the election are shortlisted in their chiefdoms, whose leaders are directly appointed by the king.

Read more on:    swaziland
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.