Body parts ‘ripped out of her’


body parts case

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The parents of murdered Masego, Joseph Kgomo, left, and Kate, right, leave court with a family member. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Little Masego Kgomo, 10, who was lured away while playing with friends in a street close to her home in Soshanguve on New Year’s Eve 2009, was still alive when body parts - including her bladder and womb - were removed from her body.

A sangoma offered her alleged killer R3 000 if he obtained the parts of a girl under the age of 12.

The body parts, wrapped in plastic and placed in a cardboard box, were later handed to the sangoma, who paid Brian Mangwai, the man on trial in the Pretoria High Court for Masego’s murder, the cash.

This shocking evidence emerged on Thursday when several policemen and two magistrates, to whom Mangwai made statements on the events of December 31, 2009, took the stand.

Masego’s parents, Kate and Joseph Kgomo, sat in shocked silence as they listened to details of the gruesome manner in which their child’s life was ended.

Members of the community burst into tears and gasped as the tale unfolded.

A magistrate broke down in the witness box as he was about to testify about how Masego was forced to lie on the ground before body parts were ripped out of her.

Mangwai, who sat emotionless in the dock, gave the police various versions during his pointings-out of the crime scene.

He also told two different magistrates two different stories about what happened that night.

In some versions he himself either ripped or cut out Masego’s body parts.

In others he was present, but the sangoma ripped out the body parts.

In the versions in which he accused the sangoma of being the one who removed the organs, it appears that Masego was still alive when she was cut open, but that she was already dead by the time her womb was ripped out.

In the version in which he did it himself, Mangwai said he and a friend held Masego down and that his friend first strangled her before he (the accused) removed her body parts.

He told a Soshanguve magistrate that he sent Masego to the store to buy him a soft drink while she was playing with her friends, including his little sister, in the street.

When she returned he told her to walk with him and he met up with several of his friends.

They put the child in a Venture van and took her to a party.

Mangwai said he left her with his friends in a room while he went to buy ciders.

When he returned he saw that his friends had raped the child.

“I did not want to take her to the police station and I knew there was a woman (a sangoma) who wanted a child.”

He and his friends took the crying child to bushes near a train station.

“She did not want to go and said she wanted to go home. Nunu (his friend) held her arms and I held her legs.

“He strangled her and I cut open her stomach. I first took out her womb and then cut off her left breast. I wrapped it in plastic and then placed it in a box.”

In another version he said he also took out her bladder.

After spending a night searching for the “missing” child, along with her family and police, Mangwai handed the box with organs the next day to a sangoma for R3 000.

Magistrate Johan Jantjes, who broke down as he testified about the version the accused gave him, said after she was abducted, the crying Masego was taken at about midnight to the home of a sangoma.

They “dragged” the little girl into the house after they were each given a concoction to drink. “Masego cried softly as the traditional healer sprinkled her with a substance.”

Mangwai said they were ordered to take the child to a passage between houses.

“The sangoma ordered her to lie on her back. She refused and Nunu (one of the men present) and the sangoma forced her down.

“The sangoma cut her open with a knife with an 18cm blade. He put his hand in her body and pulled out something resembling a ball.”

Mangwai stated that after the body parts were removed, they folded her hands across her chest and wrapped her in plastic.

They were given muti to drink to “make them brave” and he and the others then dumped her body in a veld.

In another version he said they took the crying child to the sangoma, who after sprinkling her with water, produced a knife and calabash. The sangoma plunged the knife into the crying and “weak” child and “cut a round piece of flesh out of her”.

He placed this in the calabash before cutting off her left breast, which was also put in the calabash. By then the child was unconscious.

The State has closed its case. The accused is expected to testify on Friday. - Pretoria News


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