Healer and guard get life for murder

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iol news pic witchcraft sangoma 2 Independent Newspapers File photo: Leon Lestrade

Durban - A popular KwaZulu-Natal traditional healer, Nkosinathi Gumede, 49, and his bodyguard have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the healer’s wife.

Lindiwe Gumede’s relieved family said they were satisfied with the sentence handed down in the Durban High Court on Friday, and were happy justice had been served.

She was lured to a secluded spot and then killed because Nkosinathi suspected her of having an affair.

She disappeared on July 31, 2007, and her body was found near a sugar cane field in Gingindlovu the next day by a farmer on Highrain Farm. She had been shot through the mouth.

Nkosinathi, of Mtunzini, is known in Durban, Vryheid, Richards Bay, Empangeni, Pongola, Mtubatuba, St Lucia, Ulundi, Newcastle and his home town, where he sold his herbs.

He was a prominent figure who claimed to mix potions to treat HIV and Aids with traditional herbs.

Gumede and his bodyguard, Bahle Buthelezi, were arrested in 2009 after an accomplice turned himself over to police because he could not live with his conscience.

Lindiwe, a qualified fashion designer, who also operated a catering business for labourers in Richards Bay, was 47 when she was killed. She was also the mother of two children.

Judge Fikile Makgotloa found that there were no substantial or compelling circumstances to justify a lesser sentence than life.

“This was a heinous crime against a defenceless woman by people she trusted,” the judge said.

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