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A TRADITIONAL healer has been arrested for allegedly killing his 12-year-old stepson, then burying his hand at the KwaZulu-Natal home of a woman who had earlier sought advice from him.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said that the healer had told the woman, who lives near Pinetown, that her problems were caused by the hand of a child that was buried in her yard - by her enemies.
"He then promised to remove the hand for her."
A date was set on which the healer would return and remove the hand and, on that day, the woman would pay him a substantial amount of money for his services.
"When the woman woke up on Friday, she noticed that someone had dug in her yard and had carefully tried to mask the hole," Mdunge said.
"She then found a hand caked with blood buried in the ground."
He said police were then called.
"When police went to question the man, it was found that the man's stepson, who was 12 years old, had disappeared the previous day," Mdunge said.
"The healer told the police that the child had drowned in a dam and been eaten by a snake."
Police divers searched the dam but could not find the body.
"The boy's body was found in nearby bushes on Monday by children playing in the area," Mdunge said.
The healer was taken in for questioning.
Mdunge also said that the healer had been previously arrested for "a serious offence" and was granted bail "but never returned to appear in court".