Sister stabbed for body parts

A TRADITIONAL healer, who invited his elder sister to a family ritual and allegedly killed her for muthi last week, has been arrested - along with his son

Maphuthu Moikangwe Mogaramedi, 49, and his son Thabang Mogaramedi, 21, both of Pieterskraal in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, appeared in the KwaMhlanga magistrate's court on Thursday for the alleged murder of Gladys Mogaramedi, 61, of Groblersdal last Monday.

Their case was postponed to Thursday for further investigation. They were remanded in police custody.

"The killing and the removal of the body parts occurred simultaneously. A postmortem was conducted on Friday and revealed that she was brutally murdered," police said.

The victim arrived at the weekend and occupied a separate room in the homestead.

She was allegedly attacked while sleeping at about 3am on Monday.

Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Hlathi yesterday said the police were alerted to the killing by neighbours after Thabang had gone to seek help from them.

"He told neighbours that his aunt was not moving and after seeing her neighbours informed the police."

Hlathi said Mogaramedi had left the scene "after committing this callous act and left the body in the house with his 21-year-old son. Police discovered some of her body parts had been removed".

The mutilated body had numerous body and head stab wounds.

When the healer left home on Monday he claimed to be going to Diepsloot near Johannesburg. Police rushed to Diepsloot only to find that he was not there.

"They later received new information that he was at a relative's place in Jane Furse in Limpopo. When he saw the police he tried to escape but was arrested," Hlati said.

He said the relatives appeared unaware of what the suspect had done.

"Mogaramedi later led the police to a spot in the relative's yard where he dug out some of the body parts, including the victim's private parts. On Wednesday he took police to a spot in his Pieterskraal home where he pointed out other parts, including blood in a plastic container," he said.

Hlathi said Thabang was arrested as an accomplice. But sources close to the police said he might turn state witness.

Hlathi said while Mogaramedi was pointing out body parts, scores of angry onlookers had gathered outside the yard "baying for his blood". They almost attacked the police for refusing to hand Mogaramedi over to them so they could deal with him.

  • The killing has been condemned by the National Traditional Healers Union as the work of the devil and not that of traditional healers.

The union's general secretary Maggy Lesufi said if the accused was a true healer, "he should have known we have nothing to do with witchcraft. Ours is to heal the sick and not to kill."

She said such a person "should rot in prison. As traditional healers we do not want such people in our organisation. We confiscate their certificates so that they must not practise anymore."