Nurse nabbed with umbilical cord, other body parts, cops say muti

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A KwaZulu-Natal nurse is expected to appear in court today after she was arrested in possession of a baby's umbilical cord in a hospital parking lot on Sunday.

The 33-year-old assistant nurse, whose name, rank and the hospital where she works cannot be named until she appears in court, was caught red-handed with the umbilical cord.

When arrested, police searched her home and found four more body parts in a bottle inside her fridge.

Police say they are convinced the body parts were to be used for muti, but they would not reveal details of the parts found.

"We believe the parts were destined for muti," said police spokesman Muzi Mngomezulu

Mngomezulu said they were also trying to determine whether the woman was a member of a muti syndicate.

She has been charged under the Human Tissue Act of 1983.

The KwaZulu-Natal health department said it was not aware that the arrested woman was a nurse, but they would investigate the matter.

Durban traditional healer Keletso Pekile said authentic traditional healers distance themselves from those who "use human body parts to make muti".

"I don't have any knowledge of any muti mixture that requires body parts," he said.

Pekile said he was "aware of stories of so-called traditional healers being arrested in connection with killings to gain body parts as ingredients for muti concoctions. Our gift for being traditional healers comes from our ancestors".

"The people who are guilty of using body parts for muti are not traditional healers.

"They are just hiding behind the good name of traditional healers to carry out their disgusting practices."

'They are hiding behind our name to carry out their disgusting practices'