Villagers kill old woman suspected of witchcraft

Four people arrested

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Four people have been nabbed after a woman suspected to have been a witch was killed.
Four people have been nabbed after a woman suspected to have been a witch was killed.
Image: Allan Swart/123RF

An 80-year-old woman accused of witchcraft was hacked and set alight in her house allegedly by members of the community in Mbuzini village, near Komatipoort, Mpumalanga. 

Dumisile Mahlangu was allegedly found naked at a neighbour’s house and was accused of practicing witchcraft on Saturday night.

Mpumalanga police said after neighbours found Mahlangu naked in one of the houses at about 11pm, she was hacked and then taken to  her house where she was locked inside and it was set alight. 

“They accused her of being a witch, hacked her and locked her in her house and set the house on fire,” said police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi.

He condemned the “barbaric” incident, saying several people have been arrested.

“The provincial commissioner of the police in Mpumalanga Gen Mondli Zuma is condemning the barbaric incident and calls for community members to not take the law into their hands. As the police we have now arrested four people, a 31-year-old man, twins who are 44 years old and a 22-year-old man who is a child of one of the twins. They are charged with murder and arson and they will appear in the Tonga magistrate's court on Tuesday,” said Hlathi. 

On Monday afternoon the community was mobilising to have a meeting in which they were going to discuss that Mahlangu should not be buried in their village and that accused police are aiding witches. 

“This woman have been bewitching us here... we caught her in the act. We don't want her to be buried in our village. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will be protesting outside the court because they arrested people who saved the community from the witch,” said a community member who asked not to be named.

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