Rituals for crime

A new phenomenon of criminals resorting to sangomas for ritual ceremonies they believe will keep them out of jail has reared its head in two provinces.

A new phenomenon of criminals resorting to sangomas for ritual ceremonies they believe will keep them out of jail has reared its head in two provinces.

Both incidents happened on Wednesday - one in Johannesburg and the other in Mthatha in Eastern Cape.

Ten men were arrested at a sangoma's house in Ennerdale, southern Johannesburg, after they allegedly robbed a house and shot dead Mike du Plessis, 70, at a smallholding in Jagfontein, near Randfontein.

They were nabbed minutes after laying their loot and guns before a sangoma for a ritual ceremony, police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said yesterday.

The sangoma was also arrested.

Dlamini said the men would appear in the Westonaria magistrate's court today.

In Eastern Cape, four men were arrested at a sangoma's house for possession of unlicensed firearms.

Captain Zamakulungisa Jozana said the men were arrested while they were consulting a sangoma for a cleansing ceremony.

Police recovered an R5 automatic rifle with two magazines, 11 rounds of ammunition and a .38 revolver with six rounds of ammunition. -- Sapa

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