Gory details of ritual killing emerge

Pretoria - A man accused of killing a Soshanguve schoolgirl told a judge the child was still alive when her womb was ripped from her body during a ritual killing.

This emerged in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Brian Mangwale earlier told another magistrate one of his friends strangled the child, and she was already dead when he cut out her womb and removed her breast, which he sold to a sangoma for R3 000.

Family members wept as details of the last hours of 10-year-old Masego Kgomo's life emerged.

Statements to the police and two magistrates, in which Mangwale gave vastly conflicting accounts of the murder, were read out in court after Judge Billy Mothle ruled they were admissible as evidence.

This was despite Mangwale's claims that police had tortured him and never explained his rights to him.

He denied ever pointing out Masego's decomposed body in the veld behind the Soshanguve train station eight days after she disappeared on December 31 2009.

A policeman earlier testified that Mangwale appeared to have been possessed by the spirits of ancestors when he voluntarily pointed out the body in the veld behind the Soshanguve railway station.

The court had to adjourn for a while when Garankuwa Magistrate Johan Jantjes started weeping while reading Mangwale's statement.

Mangwale told him he and a group of friends had taken the young girl to a traditional healer in Soshanguve, who gave them a concoction to drink before he dragged the crying Masego into a room.

The girl was still crying when the traditional healer returned with her about ten minutes later and started sprinkling something on her.

Mangwale claimed the traditional healer had then returned with a knife and a clay pot and ordered Masego to lie down on a bed.

When she refused, she was forcibly held down while the traditional healer stabbed her in the stomach, put his hand inside her body and removed something that looked like a ball, which he put into the clay pot.

He also removed her left breast.

Mangwale told the magistrate he heard the others had wrapped the child's body in plastic and drank muti again before dumping her body in the veld on the instructions of the traditional healer.

Hid body parts

A Soshanguve magistrate testified that Mangwale had just a week earlier made a statement to her, in which he said he and a group of friends had taken Masego along went they went out drinking.

This was after the child had earlier in the day volunteered to go and buy cooldrink for him at a tuck shop.

He claimed three of his friends had raped the girl in his absence, but he had not reported it to the police because he knew of a woman "who wanted a girl".

He told the magistrate he and his friends had taken the child to a bushy area, where his friend Nunu strangled her when she wanted to scream.

According to his first statement, the girl was already dead when Masego slit open her stomach and removed her womb and breast, which he put into a plastic bag.

He said he had hidden the body parts behind his home before helping Masego's family search for her, but had sold it to a woman in Mabopane for R3000 the next day.

While pointing out the scene of the crime to police, Mangwale claimed he and his friends had a deal to hand over Masego to a traditional healer for body parts.

In that statement, he also claimed the girl was still alive when the traditional healer cut open her stomach.

Mangwale will take the stand in his defence on Friday.

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