Cops warn of new witchcraft trend

2011-03-23 12:09

Polokwane - Recently empowered rural people are increasingly being accused of witchcraft by jealous neighbours, sometimes with grave consequences, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.

"Now you are a witch because you are driving a 4x4. This is the mentality that people have," said provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Mupala Motopela, 81, and her granddaughter, Cynthia Lemaho, 26, were stoned to death and then set alight by a mob in Maake village outside Tzaneen at the weekend after being accused of witchcraft. Lemaho is survived by two children, aged 2 and 12, who managed to escape unharmed.

Fourth incident

Mulaudzi said this was the fourth incident in villages in Limpopo in the past three months where people were either assaulted or killed after being accused of witchcraft.

"Once people start amassing wealth, getting bigger houses and sending their children to better schools, it means you are engaging yourself in witchcraft.

"People think something is helping you do that [amass wealth] and then they accuse you of witchcraft."

Mulaudzi said this had become a real concern for people wanting to return to their villages after building better lives for themselves.

Many people who earned good money wanted to buy themselves better houses in their villages, but they were afraid of being attacked and accused of witchcraft, he said.

"It has become a challenge to people. It is really disturbing."

Stoned to death

He said the police decided to launch a massive manhunt for those responsible for the killing of Motopela and Lemaho on Sunday. First they were dragged out of the house, before being stoned to death. Their bodies were dragged back into the house and set alight.

"It is nonsensical. We still have a long way to go in educating people."

Worst was, said Muluadzi, those arrested in the Maake murders were all aged between 18 and 25.

"These are the leaders of our future. We expect them to lead a responsible life."

By Wednesday morning, nine people had been arrested.

"This must also serve as a warning to others. Enough is enough. We are not going to allow this thing to happen in the province. They must know, we will hunt them down," said Muluadzi.

"This thing is very depressing. Innocent people are losing their lives."


  • Valkyrie - 2011-03-23 12:14

    Funny, I don't see the ANC fatcats being accused of witchcraft.....

      John - 2011-03-23 12:18

      Interesting yes...Ain't Julius Malema from Limpopo?!

      daaivark - 2011-03-23 12:20

      What the hell has this to do with the ANC? It is simply a matter of absurdly poor education to which these rural people are not even exposed.

      Tigra - 2011-03-23 12:31

      Limpopo - Our favorite tenderpreneur better be careful... What would happen if his supporters started to notice that he has a lot in common with others accused of witchcraft...

      exocist - 2011-03-23 12:33

      to THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING if he was not an ANC zombie, mummy must be proud that you can swear, we have all got a booking in the grave except you walking zombies

      Mannie777 - 2011-03-23 12:47

      @ the-man-who likes to likes to be ruled over insted of being served by his goverment: Your swearing says alot about you buddy. We all have a right to make comments here...

      DeonL - 2011-03-23 12:49

      I agree, but Malema has moved to Sandton, now we know why.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-03-23 13:15

      in other news... European scientists today announced they have successfully constructed the first 8 qubit quantum gate. The difference in intelligence between the average man and a nuclear physicist, is greater than the difference between the average man and a chimpanzee.

      Wedfew - 2011-03-24 12:55

      John, he is a tokoloshe lol. The Julius Crack head Malema.

      KNORPATAT - 2011-03-24 15:04

      the people say that there will be tokkelosh's at votingstations. do you think it is true? :-@

      Meanleader - 2011-07-05 12:02

      "These are the leaders of our future. We expect them to lead a responsible life." He says this about the youth , but these are EXACTLY the kind of thugs running the country right now ...what utter hypocracy . On a positive note , it is heartening to see that the plural populus also has a deadly blight in their lives ...... They'll still vote ANC , but they might understand the threat the whites are facing on the farms ...and all over basically !! Viva la Tokolosi !!!

  • daaivark - 2011-03-23 12:20


      Jo - 2011-03-23 12:34

      I agree, on one level - but what would that particular course be called? And what age do you start teaching it? Do not murder your neighbours 101? I'm being flippant because this is too much for me, DV.

      MaLemmer - 2011-03-23 12:38

      How do you educate what is the culture?

      FaxM8 Fax - 2011-03-23 13:05

      You cannot educate your car sparewheel can you ?

      Allo Allo - 2011-03-23 13:38

      Sorry Daaivark, but you cannot educate consience. You can put a lack of jobs down to education. You can put protesting and toy-toying down to frusrtation due to lack of eductaion and therefore job opportunities. But to drag a 81 yr old womanand her granddaughter into the street and stone them till they are dead is simply evil and wrong. By excusing it through education you are offering a excuse for this behavior.

      Jack - 2011-03-23 13:54

      @vark: What,your version of education? As far as they are concerned, they are educated in their culture and their ways. Banana anyone?

      Louis - 2011-03-23 15:35

      It is disturbing to know that people that are so uninformed , uneducated and so ease influenced , have the fate of this country in their hands. They are in the majority , and majority rules I guess. I wonder why the government do not spend more money on education.

      Meanleader - 2011-07-05 12:12

      After 17 years , they should be educated enough to know they are humans ....not the case here I'm afraid .Lack of Education is an excuse for an inexcusable act of barbarism !!!

      Bonnie - 2011-07-05 16:04

      this has absolutely nothing to do with education! it is their beliefs. how much more do we have to educate them and teach them that killing and stealing is bad?? they just don't learn!!! so educate my ass.

  • bomb916 - 2011-03-23 12:24

    T.I.A. This Is Africa, the African way!

      Red26 - 2011-03-23 14:40

      I don't see the problem. is it not cultural to consult the spirits or throw the bones, to have muthi prescribed and claim from your medical aid? Do we not hear "it is our culture" on a daily basis as a justification for all sorts of things euro-centric people consider taboo? So too with the belief in witchcraft. What part of a culture do we keep and what part do we discard? Is superstition and the way it has always influenced the way things get done in Africa not part of the culture - or is there indeed such a concept as negative culture? This sort of thing happened for centuries in Europe as well; jealousy mixed with superstition

  • BOY30 - 2011-03-23 12:25

    If when people progress are deemed to practice witchcraft then JuJu is a witch. They should be dealing with corrupt and lazy Public Office bearers. But please dont kill them.

  • exocist - 2011-03-23 12:27

    what about those witches and wizards in parlament and HARRY FATTER (juliarse) the grand wizard of snot

  • BRONZE - 2011-03-23 12:28

    It's always been about jealousy. All it takes is for a few individuals to plant a seed into people's minds (minds that are already asking themselves 'why then, why not us') and there you have it. In a community that already believes in withcraft its even easier. I don't like it at all but it happens. In rural areas you'll be accussed of withcraft and be killed. In a township you'll be killed by thugs, not because they really want your car but because they are jealous that you have moved upward. Hence many people that want upward mobility in peace would chose to live in a flat somewhere in the city then go back home. And then non-Black people think they are the only ones targeted in crime, think again. It's a fight of the have's vs the non-have's, it's not racial.

      juisluk - 2011-03-23 12:43

      finally someone who makes sense

      amy0aylif - 2011-03-23 12:50

      Bronze its true, where I work if people grow in their careers or are favoured by their superiors, my colleagues blame it on muti.

      Grant - 2011-03-23 12:56

      @juisluk. Glad to see you noticing a sensible post, it certainly suprises me that you are able to recognise one - based on the history of your posts, you are certainly not capable of posting anything more than piss and vinegar!

      Janine - 2011-03-23 13:23

      Good to see someone telling it like it is.

      John - 2011-03-23 13:51

      I agree with you on this one, but I must say I was a victim of racial attacks. I was the only white person staying in a block of apartments where there was a mixture of black & coloured people. This block of flats are situated in a predominaly middle class "white" area. There were no burglaries before untill I moved in. I was targated twice in 4 months. Forcing me to move out. I never showed any disrespect to my neighbours in any way. I was simply not welcome as the only white person in their territory.

      BRONZE - 2011-03-23 14:22

      John its unfortunate what happened but Whites will always be viewed as 'having' even if that's not the case. Its even worse because you are insured and you can replace stuff. But at least you were not hurt. We moved away from the township many years ago because in the entire street we were the only house that can being burgled and our car kept being stolen. Of course the insurance replaced it, but they came back for it? Why? Because we can replace stuff meaning we are rolling in it. At one point we got a note in the postbox saying just as much. All because we could afford a bloomin Nissan Sentra when others had no cars. All we can all hope for is that we don't get hurt. But my fiance was attacked in one township he visited with a friend because when he got drunk he spoke some English and they saw it as bragging about being educated (which he is, thanks to a student loan that anyone can access). They stabbed him near his heart and broke a bottle over his eyes resulting in his eyes being badly damaged. He almost got blind, why? Because of jealousy over a few English words and a shiny new black car. The have's vs the non-have's.

      Grazy - 2011-03-23 14:32

      Tell me about the whites that killed anybody because they are more rich then. Tell me about the whites that use witchcraft as an excuse to kill anybody in SA in the last 100 years, or 200. Then I'll admit that it is not a racial thing.

      MaLemmer - 2011-03-23 15:18

      Yeah Grazy, its a cultural thing!

  • e.henning101 - 2011-03-23 12:29

    No or very little common education level...Tokkolosh, Sangoma, Witchcraft, etc, etc. Funny thing is, when the AGS pastor in Krugersdorp was discovered casting out demons and so forth (on request), he was almost publically executed for that or for believing in that... And, me included, here we go again adding our comments and criticism and so forth. How can I, somebody who does not believe in Sangomas/ Tokkolosh (I do believe in demons and evil spirits though) have a fair comment or viewpoint regarding something (like witchcraft, Tokkolosh, etc) I do not believe in nor ever investigated? So, this is just my opinion...

      GT - 2011-03-23 13:21

      why would you believe in one set of demons and not another. They are both just bronze age baggage and they give uneducated people an opportunity to blame and ridicule what they cannot comprehend. Bronze in the post above has it spot on. Jealously and blame are always behind these things and even people who would not otherwise behave in such a way are coerced into doing the most horrible things to their neighbours.

  • Straight Forward - 2011-03-23 12:30


      Straight Forward - 2011-03-23 12:56

      At juisluk. There's a saying in Enlish, which I think you will have to get someone to explain to you. It is "attack is the best form of defence". Ask someone who has more than your grade 5 education to explain it to you

      Neil - 2011-03-23 13:00

      Couldn't have said it better!

      rix.wallace - 2011-03-23 13:01

      dislike... ffs... troll

      exocist - 2011-03-23 13:07

      to LUISKAK, stand back people another walking dead coming through (ANC)zombie just downed another bucket of formeldahyde to keep him going

      Ben - 2011-03-23 13:19

      Hahaha! @Juisluk... Think you need to go check your stats on serial killers and sexual deviants in SA... hahahaha!!!

      The Observer - 2011-03-23 14:31

      Don't insult barbarians. guys like juisluk cannot be barbarians, barbarians became some of the strongest nation in the world.

      MaLemmer - 2011-03-23 15:19

      Straight Forward, as long as he doesn't ask Julius! He doesn't qualify....

  • Allin - 2011-03-23 12:30

    TIA. A lot of fatcats must be very worried!

      Moi1980 - 2011-03-24 14:19

      Nope, cause they don't live in the rural areas.

  • Mannie777 - 2011-03-23 12:34

    This acticle is a good example of how far behind Africa is to the rest of the world. More shocking is that these same masses also have the power to vote.

  • ratex - 2011-03-23 12:35

    The Man who, Tsepo you back. AS for the article, well, it is now a sin in this community to try and better yourself? People need education, thats the only way to stop this kind of naive stupidity. Well unless of course if you are all happy being poor and uneducated, in which case it will remain your fault.

      POLLENYS - 2011-03-23 12:46

      I know of hospitals where they had a Nurse of the Month. The poor recipient was treated so badly that they stopped the prize. Hence the state of black hospitals. Competition is a Eurocentric word - everbybody must be on the same level. Except politicians - they are respected for rising above the rest.

      Rooibok - 2011-03-25 07:57

      It is because the others dont want to get off their fat asses in comparison to the nurse of the month.

  • Homo-Sapien - 2011-03-23 12:35

    Stories like this makes one wonder what's the average IQ of a South African citizen. However little it is, we're screwed!!!

      BigMoose - 2011-03-23 13:15


  • Geo Farmer - 2011-03-23 12:40

    OFF COURSE THE ANC ARE INVOLVED!!! Its there lack of educating the masses and these very same witch hunters probably vote for the ANC.The FATCATS must be very worried that they may be next.

  • Vicki - 2011-03-23 12:45

    There is no medication for stupidness.............

  • B line - 2011-03-23 12:48

    The only person that is saying the right things here is daaivark, the rest prefers to turn this into another racist issue. We can keep on blaming the ANC or the DA or whomever else for our problems, but the real problem in SA is racists (black and white and ...)so why don't we all try to be just a little less racist cause that is the thing that will change our country.

      Homo-Sapien - 2011-03-23 12:55

      you gunning for the Nobel Prize???

      Paco7 - 2011-03-23 13:00

      exactly and you morons need to learn fromn the indians and the coloureds,and don't forget about the chinese

      Maddy-CT - 2011-03-23 13:48

      @ B line. The racism on these forums is because many people seem to be able to think only in one dimension or are incapable of looking at an issue from any other point of view. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." (from The Great Gatsby).

      B line - 2011-03-23 13:58

      Maddy, thank you for your comments, I will take it to hart.

      exocist - 2011-03-24 15:15


  • tracykruger007 - 2011-03-23 12:56

    That's how it goes in this country, noboday can grant anyone their piece of hard earned wealth, because....EISH I WANT, I WANT, I WANT!!! Everybody who wants for nothing does nothing but expects life to hand them out royalties on a silver platter! WAKE UP!

  • Ben - 2011-03-23 12:56

    Hahah! This level of stupidity havnt been seen since the Dark Ages...

  • KABELO SENOKWANE - 2011-03-23 12:57

    The 'born-again' christian church(es)operating in Limpopo are the instigators of people killing the so-called witchcraft killings. Watch channel 150 on Dstv or other channels that these churches are using and parading young girls as witches and demon worshppers and you will FIND why these killings are prevalent in Limpopo. It is a sad period in the teachings of Christianity. The people are being killed for being mothers or grandmothers to the girls who are being paraded on channel 150 day in day out. SAPS in Limpopo are also believing in witchcraft or they have been brought up to believe such nonsense! Limpopo government, Please wake up and monitor these churches. You know them by names and yet you keep quiet. Do you also believe in witchcraft? If so, you will never have a solution for this Limpopo localised problem.

      aidan2010 - 2011-03-23 13:05

      ROOM 10 8 SHAFT

      RationalistPabi - 2011-03-23 13:30

      @Kabelo - 100% agree with you. But I would go one further and say forget monitoring churches, ban religion but that's just me.

      Ben - 2011-03-23 13:31

      Christianity = bad idea gone wrong.

      Worsbeursie - 2011-03-23 13:41

      I can absolutely believe this. Poor and uneducated communities are a breeding ground for real foam at the mouth religion sometimes called Christianity but it bears little or no resemblance to anything Jesus ever taught or allegedly taught depending on your faith.

      ocon777 - 2011-03-23 14:46

      Man o man .You have a point. But Some people just cant see the fundamental purpose of being and calling yourself a Christian. True Christianity is the only way. please try & disprove me!

      Charles Kane - 2011-03-24 12:04

      Agreed. These churches acknowledge the existence of such spooky nonsense. Then again, so does SAPS! Their occult unit members actually believe that the 'demons' are real. We have a long way to go in this world because, without education, people are so incredibly stupid. Even the supposedly advanced Chinese still think that Rhino horn will give them a stronger erection simply because it likes like... well you know.

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-05 14:42

      oh please... I'll bet you anything these killers have never seen the inside of a church.

  • bill - 2011-03-23 12:58

    And these people have the vote.Scary stuff

  • Paco7 - 2011-03-23 12:58

    Malema is a bladdy witch with a fake South African accent

  • FaxM8 Fax - 2011-03-23 13:02

    These people should turn on their anc masters they all rich now and they sure used wichcraft !

  • BrownAfrican - 2011-03-23 13:03

    At an age of 26 years, she is having a 12 year old child? she must have been 14 years when she gave birth to that child and fell pregnant when she was little over 13 years. This is not right, wonder how old the father was.

      Mannie777 - 2011-03-23 13:35

      LOL @ Christo

      bomb916 - 2011-03-23 14:20

      ROTFLMAO @ Christo!

      hotenglish - 2011-03-23 15:00

      JZ must be the father

  • Neil - 2011-03-23 13:04

    It's their culture. So from now on I will believe in fairies and if you don't I'll stone your ass to death! Pathetic, that's what it is.

  • Slapper - 2011-03-23 13:05

    It sometimes seems to me that we are living in Stoneage Land. If this is true, why are we not seeing ANC bigwigs being chopped to pieces?

  • Zeth - 2011-03-23 13:07

    LMFAO!!!!! Africa! Please go stone Malema to death he must be very involved with witchcraft.

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-03-23 13:12

    Breitling watch, 4X4, drinking French champagne...I KNOW of a witch !!! He is an overgrown youth with an undeveloped brain...

  • Collen - 2011-03-23 13:14

    Dit laat my koud... if you make a tiger your pet, it will eventually run into the jungle because it's a wild animal.

  • POLLENYS - 2011-03-23 13:15

    @ JUISLUK You forgot: Apart from some bad things we also brought you the wheel, education, medicine, hospitals - to name a few. Rather be thankful.

  • Alfred - 2011-03-23 13:16

    Without taking anything away from the horrific way these people were murdered there is an obvious question that needs to be asked... How is it possible that 4 incidents in 3 months is considered a "trend" but 3,792 farm murders is considered "normal crime"?

      tracykruger007 - 2011-03-23 13:30

      Very good point! When the wheel is turned it's a different story!

      VuyosWors - 2011-03-23 13:51

      Its considered normal because it is part of the ANC's land distribution programme.

  • Janine - 2011-03-23 13:16

    Glad that the brigadier who made this comment is black otherwise it would have been labelled racist.

  • michael.e.bowery - 2011-03-23 13:19

    If those accused of the killing in Maake were aged 18 to 25 then it has nothing to do with witchcraft. That age group are currently the main offenders in serious crime across the country and it is more likely to be the result of robbery or a desire to steal the belongings of those who were victims.

  • Edward Hill - 2011-03-23 13:22

    I have never in my life seen so much hate come out of such a tragedy.... You all should be ashamed of yourselves... This is the reason such nasty things happen, one says one thing another hates want he says and then Nobody does anything... you are the people whom can do something... Stop blaming everyone and see what is out there or what YOU can do.

      Chewbacca - 2011-03-23 13:37

      All people here probably pay PAYE, that's what we are doing. 'nuff said

      B line - 2011-03-23 13:45

      Edward, fully agree, see my comment above. Everyone is waiting for someone else to fix things... Racsism is SA's problem, the people here is the problem, nothing else.

      exocist - 2011-03-24 13:06

      TO EDWARD what is the purpose of a goverment that can't govern? we are tax payers wasting our money on a toothless useless goverment, what are we supposed to do ? pay them for nothing and still do their jobs for them, so don't call it hate call it frustration who's blaming everyone we're just blaming goverment

  • Kelvin moyo - 2011-03-23 13:32

    shame south africans respect your people like us foreigners

      Moi1980 - 2011-03-24 14:25

      I beg your pardon, I'm sure I must have misunderstood your comment....are you saying that the foreigners respect South Africans?? Is this referring to foreigners currently living in SA?

      Snoopy88 - 2011-07-05 14:51

      ummm... shouldn't you rather be saying 'fear' your people like us foreigners? I would if I was you... this is a land where you get accused of being a makwerakwera if you just have friends who are foreigners. Mistrust, hatred, greed and racism all round.

  • Chewbacca - 2011-03-23 13:35

    26 and has a 12 year old kid? The wealth could not have been amassed legally, either way, less votes for ANC. Education or evolution? lacking in both I'd say

  • JustinD - 2011-03-23 13:35

    Only a black african can be so dumb!!!!!

      B line - 2011-03-23 13:52

      JustinD, what are you trying to achieve with your comment? Let me tell you what you are achieving: You are fueling hate between races which is exactly what we don't need in this country. Think before you talk, your words have consequence.

      Felix - 2011-03-23 15:28


      Moi1980 - 2011-03-24 14:26

      And with your comment, you've just given a very clear indication of your intelligence. Pot...Kettle...Black

  • bar-one - 2011-03-23 13:40

    I suppose its one way of stopping corruption

  • motsokwane - 2011-03-23 13:44

    Polokwane needs to be put on the top of the TO DO list.really they are being forgotten in terms of civilization.What a kaak story is this.?

  • Robschele - 2011-03-23 13:48

    If you had some money in rural Lesotho the have-nots would go to a witchdoctor and bewitched you to bring you back to their level. They never asked to go up to your level. The Jones's story works diffirent in the african way.

  • ManOTMoment - 2011-03-23 13:53

    Enriching themselves with corruption = no problem Getting rich by means of witchcraft = problem Only in SA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sage - 2011-03-23 13:56

    How utterly primitive!

  • Worsbeursie - 2011-03-23 13:59

    How did Julius Malema get to where he is so quickly with his obvious lack of intelligence and charm? I think he's had help from certain sources that I won't mention *cough-witch-cough*. Seriously though, it is shocking how close some communities in South Africa are to hunter gatherers that lived tens of thousands of years ago. Basically a cellphone and synthetic clothing separates them. IMHO the apartheid and current government are equally to blame, but only the current one can actually do something about it. This sort of thing is common in Nigeria too btw.

  • Realism101 - 2011-03-23 14:04

    This isn't about culture or a lack of education. This is about the pursuit of violence supported by a strong sense of envy. These two women were killed because they had what their killers wanted. No thought was given to their families and in the case of the younger woman, her two young children. This is crime in a pure form. Nothing will be done by the Government (ANC,DA, COPE, etc) because they have long ago lost touch with the reality of the people they govern. It has been left to the people who, in turn, resort to further violence (vigilantism born out of fear and desperation) and apathy (born out of fear). This is what the people (and not just people like the venerable Nelson Mandela and his ilk) fought for...a country well on its way to self destruction. A "Rome that burnt while (our) fidlers (JZ, JM, corruption at levels, etc) fiddled"...

      exocist - 2011-03-24 13:15

      what can a party like the DA or COPE do?they are not in power, how the hell can you overule the present toothless fools if you are only an opposition party?how can you judge them before they have a chance to govern? who taught you how politics work ?i think them witches already got hold of your brain

  • sceptic - 2011-03-23 14:06


      Felix - 2011-03-23 15:32

      Are you posting this from your cardboard box :)?

  • avanhuyssteen72 - 2011-03-23 14:36


  • Spoofed - 2011-03-23 14:44

    I give up

  • Louis - 2011-03-23 15:30

    It is disturbing to know that people that are so uninformed , uneducated and so ease influenced , have the fate of this country in their hands. They are in the majority , and majority rules I guess. I wonder why the government do not spend more money on education.

      happygolucky - 2011-03-24 11:20

      if they got an education, they would know better and be able to think for themselves, which is BAD news for the ANC

  • Louis - 2011-03-23 15:30

    It is disturbing to know that people that are so uninformed , uneducated and so ease influenced , have the fate of this country in their hands. They are in the majority , and majority rules I guess. I wonder why the government do not spend more money on education.

  • e.henning101 - 2011-03-23 15:41

    @GT: All fair and true about the bronze age baggage. But seriously...comparing the Tokkolosh to the fight between good and evil? It is believed that the Tokkolosh is little evil man...good and evil is not necessarily a manifestation in the form of a little evil man. Spirit world avenues...deep stuff...deep.

  • avocadoproducts - 2011-03-23 15:53

    there was a sangoma at the presidential inauguration...they still believe white people are spooks

  • baddaddy - 2011-03-23 19:24

    @Juisluk, the way you comment and your spelling tells me you have grade 5 woodwork like your brother JuJu. rather keep your fingers away from the keyboard and your mouth shut and get a scholarship or study loan to start getting educated, you twat. also stop listening to the ANC fatcats since they should also be witches with all the STOLEN wealth they amassed from all the back hands and tenders and follow your flat nose to some books for education, whilst you are at it do not forget to pull your finger from your nose to try and change your brain cells manually. It is typically that there are some uneducated people that like to throw insults around without understanding what or why it is done for. So you should rather start by looking at your self and think for yourself. Your money if you do have any is taken by your government at the end of every day little by little and given to a brother in the government. sad but true, unless you are one of those that also just hold the hand and receive freely from the government. good luck with the education if you are taking it up.