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Locals bay for granny's blood

By unknown | Jun 11, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Police yesterday urgently removed a 70-year-old grandmother from her home in eMondolo in northern KwaZulu-Natal after locals threatened to stone her to death.

The woman has been accused of being a witch and is due to be sentenced by a tribal court today.

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said when police received information that her life was in danger they went to the area.

"We intervened when we received information that her life was in danger. We have communicated with the local chief in the area. He has been informed that the police will accompany her to the tribal court hearing."

He said the area was tense and that the local police were keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

He said people are known to have been killed or seriously injured in the past after being accused of practising witchcraft.

In one incident, an elderly couple was burnt to death at their Umlazi home.

Provincial Human Rights Commission (HRC) commissioner Karthy Govender said though tribal courts were recognised in South Africa, it was the Constitution of the country that upheld the rights of an individual.

"If the individual is not happy with the rulings of a tribal court they are welcome to contact us."

He said in the past the commission had intervened in such a case and recently the Constitutional Court upheld a woman's right to become a tribal chief.

"Clearly this kind of situation is part of the deeply rooted cultural beliefs of communities and there is bound to be anxiety.

"But there are no quick fix solutions and such matters will have to be addressed over time."


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