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Limpopo woman, 73, accused of witchcraft and murdered before community brutally attacks alleged killer

Hands of an old woman

A 73-year-old woman was accosted and fatally assaulted by a man who accused her practising witchcraft in Limpopo. File Picture

Published Nov 16, 2023


A 73-year-old Limpopo woman has been brutally murdered, allegedly by a 35-year-old man who accused her of witchcraft in the village.

The incident took place at Muswani Village in Malamulele under the Vhembe District on Wednesday morning, according to Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that a 73-year-old woman was returning home from the local clinic and when she passed a certain house, she was suddenly attacked by a 35-year-old man who apparently accused her of witchcraft,” Mashaba said.

The 35-year-old man allegedly hit the victim with a stone on the head, killing her instantly.

Provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe. Picture: Supplied/SAPS

In the aftermath, community members went on the rampage and attacked the alleged killer.

“Police were alerted about the incident and upon arrival, they managed to rescue the suspect who was severely assaulted. He was then transported to the hospital by the ambulance and is placed under police guard,” said Mashaba.

Meanwhile, the Limpopo provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has “strongly” condemned the brutal murder of the septuagenarian, and the resultant mob justice incident. She urged communities to use legal platforms and avoid resorting to vigilantism.

“It is crucial for communities to rely on legal systems rather than resorting to mob justice or vigilantism. These actions can lead to violence and injustice. Our members (police) are committed to swift action and ensuring justice prevails,” said Hadebe.

“Those who continue to ignore our call must face the full might of the law.”

Police have opened a case of murder.

The injured 35-year-old man is expected in court once he had recovered.

“No one has been arrested in connection with the mob justice incident.”

Limpopo police appealed to anyone with information to contact the nearest police station or the Crime Stop number 086-001-0111.

Earlier this year, IOL reported that a 32-year-old man was appearing before the Vuwani Magistrate’s Court facing a charge of murder after he was arrested for allegedly killing an 80-year-old wheelchair bound pensioner at Mutsha Thondoni village in Limpopo’s Vhembe District.

At the time, police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the gruesome murder happened after the 32-year-old man accused the old man, who was his mother’s employer, of practising witchcraft.