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Man kills his granny for 'bewitching him'

A 19-year-old man allegedly strangled his grandmother to death.
A 19-year-old man allegedly strangled his grandmother to death.
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

A 19-year-old sangoma-in- training allegedly strangled his grandmother with a shoelace after accusing her of witchcraft.

The suspect, from Hlanganani township outside Giyani in Limpopo, allegedly killed his 74-year-old grandmother in her bedroom on Friday.

He apparently woke up his elder sister afterwards and confessed to killing his granny because "she was a witch".

Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the teenager was arrested and will be appearing in the Tiyani district court today for the murder.

According to the pensioner's granddaughter, who can't be named before her younger brother appears in court, the suspect came back home at night from a neighbouring village where he was receiving training to become a sangoma.

"I did not notice that he came back that night because he has been in training for the past six months. I only heard his voice calling my name and when I peeped through the window I saw him with a white shoelace in his hand."

The 45-year-old granddaughter said the suspect then told her to go and see what he had done to the grandmother.

"He said he killed her with a lace because she has been bewitching him. He further threatened to kill me if I tell anyone about it," she said.

The woman said she jumped off her bed to check on her grandmother who had been sleeping alone in her two-room house.

"I was shocked to find her lifeless body. He entered through an unlocked door and found her sleeping, and strangled her.

"Judging from her untidy bed, one could see she tried to fight but he overpowered her."

She said the family wanted the law to take its course.

"We have got no elderly person left in our family because the last one was killed by one of our own. We want the law to take its course and send him to jail," she said.

Mojapelo said preliminary investigation indicated that the deceased might have been strangled.

MEC for social development Nkakareng Rakgoale has reacted with shock to yet another murder of an elderly person in Limpopo.

Rakgoale has described the violence perpetuated against women and children as a violation of the rights of the vulnerable people of society who are supposed to be loved and cherished by their family members.

"As a department which has been tasked with the responsibility to care for older persons, children and people with disabilities, we are worried about the ongoing violence that is being perpetuated against the vulnerable people of our society. The teenager, who has taken away the right to life of his grandmother must just be denied bail, tried, found guilty and be sentenced to a lengthy jail term," she said.

"We can't afford to see older persons killed in this manner. We are calling for the courts not to grant bail to the abusers and killers of women and children. Social workers have been deployed to the area to provide psychosocial support services to the family and other affected parties."

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