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Guilty verdict for traditional healer in muti murder of Gabisile Shabane, 13

The three men convicted in the muti murder trial of Gabisile Shabane. File image
The three men convicted in the muti murder trial of Gabisile Shabane. File image
Image: Naledi Shange/TimesLIVE

Three men have been found guilty of killing a teenager with albinism and her toddler cousin.

Handing down judgment on Wednesday in the Middelburg magistrate's court, judge Heinrich Braukmann said the accused had a common goal of killing and harvesting the children's body parts with the intention to make powerful muthi to enhance their businesses.

"That is my judgment and observation of the incident, rituals and orchestration of the brutal killing."

Thokane Msibi, 36, Knowledge Mhlanga,  28, and Brilliant  Mkhize, 26, have been found guilty on eight counts after the kidnapping of Gabisile Shabane and Nkosikhona Ngwenya on January 28 2018. They were also found guilty on two counts of pointing a firearm at Annah Shabane and her daughter during the attack at Hlalanikahle township in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga.  

"I also find them guilty on two counts of forcefully removing the children from their home and taking them to Cullinan [outside Pretoria] against their own will. I find them guilty of killing the children in Cullinan at Msibi's farm near Pretoria and throwing a 15-month-old  to his death," Braukmann said.

The trio was also found guilty of chopping Gabisile's body and violating it and harvesting her body parts – head, hands, body fat and heart. Braukmann said the three had tried their best to distance themselves from the murder.

The trio was described as misleading by the court and accused of playing delaying tactics. Themba Thubane and Mfanasbili Gamedze were also accused in the matter.

Thubane allegedly committed suicide in prison after pleading guilty to the murder and apologising to the Shabane family.  Gamedze was reported to have killed himself as well in a prison in Eswatini.  Bauckman said the men showed no remorse.

The case continues.

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