Sangoma has criminal past

2010-02-09 00:00

AN alleged sangoma, Mdidweni Mkhize (58), has appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court in connection with the death of Thabo Ramohola, who was allegedly stabbed to death and then partially eaten by a pack of hunting dogs last Friday.

Pietermaritzburg magistrate Divesh Mootheram remanded Mkhize in custody for seven days pending further investigations.

Mkhize elected to be represented by a legal aid lawyer.

The court was told Mkhize has three previous convictions, including one for assault arising from an incident in which one of his dogs attacked someone.

He also has a previous conviction for poaching and another for a dagga-related offence.

He faces a murder charge arising from Ramohola’s death.

Mkhize allegedly told police at the weekend that he went to see why his dogs were barking on Friday night and found they had encircled an intruder. When the man did not reply to his questions, an altercation ensued.

He allegedly stabbed the man, after which the dogs allegedly began to feed on his flesh. The victim’s face was completely devoured.

The SPCA’s Jeanette Salzwedel confirmed 17 dogs were taken into the care of the SPCA afterwards, and said four puppies were in such bad condition they had to be put down.

The 13 remaining dogs are still being thoroughly examined and are receiving veterinary treatment where necessary.

Salzwedel returned to the scene of the incident at Hopewell in the company of police and honorary Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officer Mark Enslin yesterday in a bid to capture the other four dogs that had evaded them at the weekend.

By yesterday afternoon she had managed to catch one dog and was hopeful that the others will also be caught this week.

“They are very nervous at this stage. One must remember that they have also been through a traumatic event. I want to stress that whatever happened, the dogs are not to blame. It stems from the owner,” Salzwedel said.

During further investigations at the scene it is believed police recovered more animal skins at the sangoma’s homestead yesterday.

Nyala, reedbuck and duiker horns as well as genet and aardwolf skins were recovered at the weekend.

The Witness was told a dead snake was hanging outside the sangoma’s door while animal intestines were hanging from a pole in the yard.

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