Sangomas in alleged child muti killing get bail

2016-11-28 21:50
FILE: Various products for use in traditional Zulu medicine at the 'Muti Market', next to Victoria Street Market in Durban. (Javier Soriano, AFP File)

FILE: Various products for use in traditional Zulu medicine at the 'Muti Market', next to Victoria Street Market in Durban. (Javier Soriano, AFP File)

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Nelspruit - The Nelspruit High Court has granted bail to the two sangomas implicated in the disappearance and presumed murder of a three-year-old Boschfontein girl last year.

Judge George Thobejane on Friday released Jabulani Ndlovu, 27, and Themba Mnyambo, 43, both of Boschfontein, on R5 000 bail each.

Thobejane ordered that the pair not intimidate State witnesses, report to their nearest police station and not leave their area or province without notifying the investigating officer. 

The case was postponed until January 30, 2017, for trial. 

The decision reversed Nelspruit Regional Court Magistrate Shelly Msibi’s ruling in April denying them bail.

The two sangomas were arrested with four other people on November 23 last year, after allegedly kidnapping Leticia Nkentjane on October 30, 2015. Her body has still not been found. It was suspected that she was killed to make traditional medicine.
 
They pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping.
 
During their bail applications in April, local residents had made death threats outside the regional court, demanding they should hand over the child’s remains for burial.
 
Msibi had said in her ruling that the investigating officer, Captain Freddy Magagula, had argued the two sangomas, if granted bail, would abscond. This was due to the seriousness of the case and the sentences they faced if they were found guilty. 
 
“He also said such offences are prevalent in your area,” Msibi told the pair at the time.

 Muti with flesh

During his arrest, Ndlovu’s house and belongings were set on fire. He fled to Witbank (Emalahleni). Locals followed him there and he had to seek refuge at the Vosman police station. He then went to stay with relatives in KwaZulu-Natal.
 
Msibi said Mnyambo had a house in Swaziland and could flee the country. Mnyambo had pointed out bottles from his indumba (hut) containing muti to the police. Magagula's evidence was that the forensic laboratory had found the muti was mixed with flesh. At the time it had not been determined if it was human or animal.

Msibi said the other four accused had made statements implicating the two accused and themselves in the offence.
 
Magagula told the regional court that after the arrest of the first accused, Louis Sithole, he told police he taken four girls, including the victim, to bushes in Boschfontein on October 30, 2015.
 
“When people asked where he was taking the girls, he replied they were accompanying him to the grazing fields. Hours later only the three girls returned to their parental homes and the victim was missing,” said Magagula.
 
The court heard the victim’s parents phoned Sithole, who told them the girl was not with him and he was searching for her.

When they could not find her, they questioned Sithole. He allegedly told them he had handed her to Ndlovu, who had allegedly promised to pay him R15 000.

The court heard that Ndlovu put her into a black plastic bag which he put into the boot of his Toyota Tazz. He drove away with her. That was the last time Sithole saw her. 

 

Read more on:    mbombela  |  culture  |  crime

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