Man pleads guilty to shooting his mother, sister and decapitating them over ‘bewitching’

A man will be sentenced for admitting to killing his mother and sister. Picture: File image.

A man will be sentenced for admitting to killing his mother and sister. Picture: File image.

Published Feb 22, 2024


A 54-year-old KwaZulu-Natal man pleaded guilty to killing his mother and sister because he believed they had “bewitched him”.

Elias Delisani Mkhize pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. He was represented by attorney Mzothando Tengwa.

Mkhize pleaded guilty to shooting his mother Mathithi Mkhize and sister Celiwe Mkhize on December 20, 2023 in the Luzizi area, Mid-Illovo in the district of uMgungundlovu.

He then admitted to decapitating both women and putting their heads into a toilet pit system.

In a guilty plea before Judge Phumelele Shoba, Mkhize said he had seen his mother and sister leaving his home in the early hours of the morning of the murder, wearing black clothes.

“I admit that I suspected that they were at my place to bewitch me and I took my unlicensed firearm and followed them,” he said.

“I found them at my parental home which is not far from my house and shot at them.”

Mkhize said he then took a bush knife that he found in the house and chopped their heads off and concealed it in the toilet pit.

“I admit that in respect of all counts I do not have a valid defence in law for my actions and that I had [the] intention to kill both deceased as I suspected them of practising witchcraft against me.”

In a victim impact statement handed to the court by State Advocate Melumzi Gula, Mkhize’s brother Bongani Mkhize said it was a tragedy that struck their family around Christmas time.

“The shock of hearing my mother and sister were both dead.....up until today I still cannot believe this incident.”

He said since his father’s passing, his mother was the head of the house.

“Why would a son do this to his own mother?”

Shoba is expected to deliver his sentence on Thursday.

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