Liziwe Ngwayishe, left, and traditional healer Ali Yusuf appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court yesterday in connection with the murders of two 10-year-old schoolboys. Pictures: Doctor Ngcobo
Durban - A Malawian traditional healer arrested in connection with last week's murder of two boys was a well-known member of the Khayelitsha Informal Settlement community where the boys lived.

The traditional healer, Ali Yusuf, 47, appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday together with Liziwe Ngwayishe, believed to have also been involved in the murders.

Yusuf said he had papers to be in the country, but failed to produce them.

Read: Schoolboys' murder: ‘My ex-lover did it to hurt me’

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Best friends Luyanda Msomi and Njabulo Mankayi, Grade 3 pupils at Clairwood Boys’ Primary School and both aged 10, were reported missing when they failed to return home from school last Thursday.

On Monday, Amahle Bongiwe Maliwa appeared in court and was remanded in custody. She is the ex-girlfriend of Thandaza Mankayi, the father of Njabulo.

It is alleged by Mankayi that Maliwa murdered his son to punish him for ending their relationship.

It is alleged that Yusuf also had something to do with the murders after the discovery of messages between Maliwa and him before the murders.

Community residents who packed the courtroom yesterday said although they knew that a traditional healer had been arrested, they were shocked when they saw Yusuf walk into the dock.

Although court officials warned them to keep their comments to themselves during proceedings, they could not help but express their disgust in whispered tones.

Also read: Frantic search for missing boy after friend's body found

'The person who did this killed my heart'

Members of the K9 and SAPS search-and-rescue units found the body of Luyanda in the thick bushes near Clairwood railway station on Saturday. Njabulo’s body was found in a culvert on Monday.

Yusuf and Ngwayishe were charged with two counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two counts of kidnapping.

Mankayi said after seeing WhatsApp messages between his ex-girlfriend and the traditional healer, he was convinced Maliwa was also involved in witchcraft.

“Some of the messages indicated that she had doubts whether the muti he had given her to mend the relationship was going to work. The traditional healer in the messages was encouraging her to have faith that the muti was going to work,” he said.

Some community residents who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said Yusuf lived in the area, but had moved his business to Jacobs.

“He lived in our community for a while. Most people knew him as a traditional healer and some consulted him. I am shocked,” said a resident.

Maliwa, Yusuf and Ngwayishe are expected in court again next Monday for a formal bail application.

Daily News