Muti killing accused acquitted

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Nelspruit - One of the three people accused of killing a six-year-old girl and taking her body parts for muti was acquitted on Wednesday.

Thabile Mnisi, 33, from Masibekela near Komatipoort, was acquitted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the Nelspruit circuit of the High Court in Pretoria, a Sapa correspondent reported.

“There is not enough evidence... You are free to go,” Judge Collin Lamont said.

Lamont did not accept testimony from Goodness Mahlalela, 33, from Masibekela, that Mnisi, her child's minder, could have been responsible for the death.

Her daughter, Dimakatso Shabangu, went missing on April 21, 2009, while in Mnisi's care.

Last week, Mahlalela said she had left her child with Mnisi while she went to pick vegetables.

“I (later) asked Thabile where my child was so that she could eat. She told me that she left the child behind when she went to Sibange (a village outside Komatipoort),” she said.

“She (Mnisi) said the child had tried to follow her, but she instructed her to go back home. Then I said maybe her father took her with him after finding that she was home alone.”

She said the next day Mnisi suggested that they go to the child's father's place to get the child.

“We went there, but did not find her, so she suggested we go to Dimakatso's uncle's place, where we did not find her. She (Mnisi) then suggested we go report the matter to the headman,” Mahlalela told the court.

“The headman asked Thabile how she could tell the child to go back home knowing her mother was not there. She replied that she would never kill any child because she was taking care of children.”

Mahlalela told Lamont she hired Mnisi out of kindness, but was shocked to learn she might be involved in her daughter's death.

Lamont said the trial would continue with Mnisi's co-accused on Thursday.

The two, Stella Sibongile Zulu and Sifiso Wonder Vilakazi, are out on R5 000 bail and R3 000 bail respectively.

Sapa


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