Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal boy who allegedly killed a 74-year-old man he accused of witchcraft was stoned to death.
The incident took place in the Bandlaneni area, Ward 14, KwaNongoma Local Municipality in Northern KZN.
Nonhlanhla Khoza, the KZN MEC for Social Development condemned the killing of Solani Mchunu.
“It is alleged that Mchunu was brutally murdered by a local boy at the weekend, accusing him of witchcraft.
“It alleged that the community also stoned the boy to death after he was seen following the pensioner.”
While extending her condolences to the family of the pensioner, Mchunu said:
“As the community of this province, we should understand that every individual has the right to life, dignity and freedom from violence.
“Therefore, targeting and persecution of individuals based on accusations of witchcraft is not only morally repugnant, but also a violation of fundamental human rights.”
MEC Khoza said witchcraft-related violence is a deeply rooted issue that requires immediate attention and concerted efforts from both the government and society as a whole.
She said it was crucial for communities to foster understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity, recognising that myths about witchcraft do not justify violence.
“We call upon the law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into this heinous crime and ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.
“It is essential that the legal system sends a clear message that such acts of violence will not be tolerated and that those responsible will face the full force of the law.”
She appealed to the public to prioritise the protection of vulnerable individuals, particularly the elderly, who may be more susceptible to accusations of witchcraft.
Mchunu said team of social workers had been dispatched to both families to provide adequate psycho-social support, including trauma debriefing and trauma containment.