Durban - The Inkatha Freedom Party believes that those who conduct ritual killings for body parts should face the same penalties as those who poach horns from rhino.
This is according to the party’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial spokesperson on community safety and liaison, Blessed Gwala.
Gwala was referring to a recent case where a traditional healer was arrested with body parts in Margate, on the KZN south coast.
“We believe that people who use human body parts are witches. Attacks and use of body parts of people including those with albinism, regardless of the purpose for which they are used, cannot under any circumstances be considered an elemental part of any legitimate practice, whether linked to witchcraft or to traditional medicine,” he said.
Gwala added that such acts inherently constitute criminal activity and other human rights violations. Consequently, they cannot be justified on the basis of tradition, traditional medicine, or any other ground.
Gwala said he had seen advertisements in newspapers posted by ‘traditional healers’ offering to make clients richer, cure incurable diseases, secure release from prison, and making other claims that are more suggestive of witchcraft than traditional medicine.
“We believe that traditional leaders should be champions of demystifying the myths that people have,” he said.
Gwala said government has made strides in fighting rhino poaching and a similar approach must be applied in eradicating this scourge.
“The IFP is calling for the arrest of those who prescribe body parts as medicines. Vampires and cannibals have no place in our society. They must rot in jail,” he said.