Head in freezer triggers rampage

2011-01-31 12:03


Pietermaritzburg - The arrest of a traditional healer in Mafakathini linked to the murder of Loyiso Jokweni, 18, whose head was discovered in a freezer at a house in the France township on Friday, triggered a vigilante rampage during which the community looted and vandalised the healer’s home and shops.

On Friday, police arrested a 30-year-old man and took his girlfriend in for questioning after Jokweni’s head was allegedly found in a freezer in their home in France.

Jokweni’s headless body was found on January 17. The youth, from Inanda, had been visiting his sister.

His family reported him missing on December 28 after he had failed to return to his sister’s house on Christmas Day. The teen had allegedly left with three boys from the area.

The boys allegedly fled the area after being questioned by the Jokweni family on his whereabouts.

Frozen head

Jokweni’s head was allegedly found in a plastic dish with a frozen snake as well as other items which police could not immediately identify because of the ice.

Police say these could be intestines, but they are awaiting the results of forensic tests.

They arrested the suspect, who allegedly told them that he had killed Jokweni on the instructions of the 47-year-old traditional healer, whose name is known to The Witness.

When this news reached the Mafakathini community, where the traditional healer is based, local residents ran amok, stoning, vandalising and looting the healer’s properties and setting his home alight.

The healer’s properties, which include a butchery, a tavern and a supermarket, are hired out to local businesspeople.

According to one Mafakathini resident, a car with a loudhailer went around the community on Saturday alerting people to the traditional healer’s arrest.

The information allegedly passed to people was that the healer had been found with four human heads when police arrested him.


The community allegedly met at a community hall before going on the rampage. Meat, liquor and other food items were allegedly stolen from the healer’s house, as were a television set, fridges and furniture. Police were pelted with stones by the mob, who reportedly were mostly youths.

One of the residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they saw the looting and torching of property from a distance.

“I used to hear that he kept all sorts of animals and snakes that are used for muthi, but this is scary. I heard that people were pulling out private parts, people’s heads and livers, which were stored away in shelves and freezers, when they went into his house.

“Apparently people have to go into this big hole dug in one of the huts when they consult him,” added the resident.

A source described the investigation as dynamic. It is believed that the traditional healer threatened police with “tokoloshes” when they went to arrest him.

The healer has been described as intimidating.

The healer’s wife, who spoke freely to The Witness, said they were hurt that the community did not bother to ask the police whether there was any truth in the allegations that human body parts had been found in their home.

Animal parts

She said they kept animal parts, but had told the police when they raided their home that they were free to take any flesh they found for testing.

She said people came to consult the healer for various reasons, including health problems, success in their studies or seeking luck in business and relationships.

The wife admitted that sometimes their clients are required to jump into a hole containing a python and sleep there. Pythons apparently bring good luck. A snake found at the house was taken to the SPCA.

Among the couple’s vehicles are a Nissan Pathfinder and a Hummer.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA ad scores nearly half a millions hits on YouTube

The DA's "Ayisafani" (It's not the same) election TV advert - originally pulled off the air by the SABC - has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop 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

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

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


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.


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.