Sangoma questioned over children's bodies

2011-04-20 15:30

East London - An Mthatha-based sangoma was being questioned by police after the bodies of two missing children were found on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said.

"We arrested a sangoma today. He was taken in for questioning," said Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela.

Police decided to question him when they found that he had told the parents of the missing 10 and 9-year-old that he could find them for a fee of R7 000 and then showed the parents where their bodies were.

The carers of three other children recently found dead in the area, including the child of a police captain, told the police a similar story during those investigations, Fatyela said.

The two boys disappeared from the Chris Hani suburb on Monday and their parents and a group of people went to look for them, but could not find them, he explained.

The parents consulted the sangoma - an African healer who draws on remedies made from plants, herbs and animal parts for cures and claims to be able to divine insights into problems.

"This morning they were found dumped in a dense place, a forest where there are lots of trees," said Fatyela.

They had been strangled.

"Even from the second one, we thought this man must be very accurate. That is where the community started to be suspicious. Whenever a child is missing, he would claim to know where they are."

Police then decided to take him in for questioning.

"We might arrest him, we might release him," said Fatyela of the 41-year-old man.

One of the five children found dead in recent weeks had been found hanging in a tree, a second was found hidden in long grass and another was found next to a river.

  • African'shtr - 2011-04-20 15:38

    Kill the stupid Nigerian thus it finish and Klary

      uushonapet - 2011-04-20 15:58

      Is the sangoma Nigerian?

      sabrael - 2011-04-20 16:39

      Ignorant statement, African'shtr.

  • mpumie - 2011-04-20 15:41

    maybe this Sangoma is killing the children coz he know the parents will come to him and they will pay him.

      David.Nyembe - 2011-04-20 16:05

      I think you should be the next head of police intelligence...

      roamingwolf17 - 2011-04-20 16:41

      Ha Ha serious . . .

  • Kristi10 - 2011-04-20 15:43

    This is heartbreaking. The poor kids. I am crying so upset i am about this story. How can anybody do this?

  • Slapper - 2011-04-20 15:43

    Good Grief, will we ever change in Africa? Savagry at its worst is being witnessed daily.

      Ephraim - 2011-04-20 16:56

      Africa was colonised.mayb this are the lessons left behind by the f%&*# masters.give yoself a slap for failing to reason.we want solutions here. do you have some?

  • chantal de pierres - 2011-04-20 15:48

    Tragedy that our children's lives mean so little.

  • Marcell - 2011-04-20 16:03

    This is sad but.... This is AFRICA and it is a cultural issue.

      Kristi10 - 2011-04-20 16:08

      WTF? Kids were killed so that this man can con their families out of money! Marcell it has NOTHING to do with culture!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Marcell - 2011-04-20 16:17

      It is all about 'power' and 'spirits of ancestors'. When your culture include believing in cr@p like that then fooling the people and making $$$ out of it makes it so much easier. Using human body parts for remedies and all kinds of sh1t is a cultural thing. Do you think the body parts were donated in the pre-civilised era?

      Kristi10 - 2011-04-20 16:42

      Marcell you make me sad

      Ephraim - 2011-04-20 16:51

      marcell you are so #&*# stupid.its people like u who julious malema is refering to.why do u have to africanise this.people have lost their kids here and all you can utter with your mouth full of crab is,this is africa.beacause satanisim is rife in europe,do we have to think this is the work of some white folk from the west?

      Taurusaurus - 2011-04-20 18:23

      It is as Marcell said, a cultural issue - the fact that anyone would "consult" a Sangoma about where their missing children are, and that the Sangoma can find them 100% of the time indicates a killer who is manipulating people for money - swindling them, because they think he has "gifts". @ Ephraim: Culture is what gives Sangoma's their influence and apparent authority in their communities. Satanists? Hilarious, really. You don't even know what a Satanist is, so why condemn them? (I know a few self-acclaimed LaVeyan Satanists who are more peaceful than most Christians i know) Was it meant to be a cheap blanket statement to cover up the fact that culture is to blame? Sorry, its not working. Find some facts to refute your rubbish, Ephraim - oh wait, you can't. Because its rubbish. ;) Satanists aren't the opposite of Christians. When Christians rebel, they do the opposites. That isn't Satanism. Try taking a glance at the impartial and unbiased Wikipedia for some insight. :)

  • james4usa - 2011-04-20 16:37

    They kill Albino's in pretty much all of Africa. The Tokoloshe is also alive and well.

  • Preeti Mishra - 2011-04-22 09:51

    Documentary - "Albino Killings in Africa" explores about Albinos who only had to fear the burning sun and constantly seek the shade earlier. But now they also fear what is hiding in the shadows. Many of Tanzania’s 170,000 albinos have gone into hiding. They are being hunted because witchdoctors are spreading the belief that albinos possess a magical power. They believe that body parts from albinos can make you rich, so they make potions and charms from albinos’ legs, hair, hands, and blood. Since 2007 Tanzanians have killed 54 albinos, most of them children, hoping to obtain wealth and success. The killings continue despite government efforts to stop the practice. To watch please visit -

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