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Six people - two of them sangomas - accused of ritual murder were refused bail in the Seshego magistrates' court in Limpopo yesterday.
The six are accused of killing Jonas Leputu and mutilating his body.
They are Lisbeth Phasha, her son Aubrey, his girlfriend Martha Motale, Lisbeth's boyfriend, a sangoma from Mozambique, Bernard Bila, and two of Aubrey's friends, Jonas Boshomane and Thabo Mathibela.
They allegedly killed 21-year-old Leputu and then cut off his hands, legs and genitals before burning his body in his shack, allegedly to make his death look like an accident.
Leputu's body, which was burnt beyond recognition, was found in the burnt shack at Mashinini settlement near Seshego on October 14.
A police spokesman, Inspector Mohlaka Mashiane, said initially they had opened an inquest docket after Leputu's body was found in the shack.
"On October 28 our patrolling officers found a man with stab wounds and later arrested two men, Jonas Boshomane and Thabo Mathibela, in connection with his death and a series of housebreakings," he said.
He said the two had confessed to murdering the man and had also told the police that they had killed Leputu before setting his shack on fire.
According to the charge sheet, Boshomane, Mathibela, Phasha, Motale and his girlfriend stabbed Leputu in the chest, cut off his hands, legs and genitals and took them to Lisbeth Phasha, a sangoma.
Phasha gave the parts to Bila, her sangoma boyfriend.
Magistrate Jimmy Mashilo said the court took into account that the community was very angry at the accused, as was made evident by the demonstrations outside the court each time they appeared.
"I am keeping you here for your own safety," he said.
He said the accused had failed to give good reasons why they should be granted bail.
The case was postponed to February 23.
Jacob Teffo, of the Traditional Health Organisation, said the organisation was pleased with the court's decision.
"There is no place for fake sangomas in society. They belong behind bars," he said.