No bail for local healer

2011-02-01 00:00

TRADITIONAL healer Mduduzi Manqele of Mafakathini, who was arrested last Friday on allegations of dealing in human body parts, was denied bail by the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Manqele (48) is accused of the abduction and murder of 18-year-old Siyabonga Jokweni, whose head was allegedly found in the freezer of Manqele’s co-accused, Roger Thusi (30).

The state opposed bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the crime, the community’s anger at Manqele’s alleged crimes, his safety and his previous convictions.

Three busloads of community members from Mafakathini descended on the high court yesterday to protest at his appearance and to demand that he is not granted bail.

The community members marched up and down Church and Otto streets singing and blockading the streets. The police had to intervene to force the angry crowd to move from near the courts and to gather at Freedom Square.

They demanded that Manqele be kept in jail or he would face their wrath.

“We simply cannot live with such a person in our midst. A lot of things such as discoveries of bodies that had been cut up have been found. Last month a local girl of about 17 years old was discovered lying dead on the street carved open with some of the body parts missing,” said one community member.

He said that after the community raided Manqele’s house on Sunday, they found more gruesome scenes. “We found human windpipes in bottles, things that looked like human intestines, female body parts and a grave inside his house. A body was also discovered at his house in Merrivale.”

None of these allegations were verified by police.

When it was announced that bail had been denied, the community ululated, sang and danced.

Local councillor Zwelinjani Magubane said the community has never been comfortable with Manqele’s presence in the area because they were aware of his numerous “sordid” activities in other areas before he moved there.

MEC for Transport Willies ­Mchunu yesterday called for calm, saying the community should not take the law into their own hands. The South African National Civic Organisation said they were appalled by the incident and called on traditional healers’ associations and community members to be vigilant against such incidents.

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