Cape Town - 090624 - Worcester Prison. The Female Correctional Facilities at Worcester Prison. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Durban – A teenager who had his albino girlfriend murdered so that he and his friends could mix her body parts with muti in a bid to get rich was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday.

KwaZulu-Natal NPA spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the 17-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was sentenced in the Mtubatuba Regional Court on Thursday.

The youngster is the third person to be sentenced for the murder of 20-year-old Thandazile Mpunzi in a case that has drawn the ire of local community leaders and activists in the Empangeni/Richards Bay area.

Two 19 year olds – Mandla Mabuza and Lindokuhle Khumalo – pleaded guilty to murder and were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in September last year.

However, the court heard that traditional healer Bhekukufa Gumede told the youngster that “muti mixed with the body parts of a person with albinism would make them rich”.

Gumede, Mabuza, Khumalo, and the youngster then concocted a plan to kill an albino in a bid to obtain body parts.

That plan resulted in the youngster luring his albino girlfriend Mpunzi on the afternoon of August 1, 2015, to an isolated spot in the Phelandaba area of Emanguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Mabuza and Khumalo then attacked Mpunzi and strangled her before her body was taken to a nearby forest.

According to the indictment, “the assailants [Mabuza and Khumalo] met on the following day and dismembered the deceased’s body. They took away certain body parts. At a later stage the assailants moved the remains of the body to another forest where it was buried. They were using the vehicle of accused one [Gumede]”.

The men were first arrested on August 18. Gumede is expected to go on trial later in the year.

Ramkisson-Kara said Mpunzi’s mother told the court she now feared for the safety of two of her other children, who also suffer from albinism.