Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane
Pretoria - The alleged muthi murder of six-year-old Bontle Mashiyane in Mpumalanga has caused widespread outrage within communities, provoking provincial cabinet member Vusi Shongwe to speak out against sangomas who use human organs.
This follows the discovery of Mashiyane's remains at Mganduzweni outside White River over the weekend.
The girl went missing while playing with her friends near her home last month.
Police later confirmed that a murder and rape parolee was a suspect in her disappearance.
"The girl was reported missing and later found dead near her home. There is a video in circulation where a man alleges that they were sent by a traditional healer who wanted female body parts to be used for traditional purposes," said Shongwe.
Shongwe, who is MEC for safety, security and liaison labelled Mashiyane’s murder "evil."
"This is purely evil and inhuman and should not be allowed in communities. We have no place for traditional healers who rely on the death of other people in order to heal.
“In fact, those should not be regarded as traditional healers, but criminals. True traditional healers don’t hurt others to heal another.
“We cannot accept any form of criminality in the name of traditional healing. True traditional healers must expose those who are using this gift to destroy and kill others,” said Shongwe.
MEC Shongwe praised another sangoma who refused to do a ritual cleansing for a murder suspect in the case of Hillary Gardee but called the police instead.
"When healers are approached by criminals to cleanse them, they should be reported to the police as the traditional healer on the Gardee case did. Traditional healers who help criminals are equally criminals; they should be arrested too and removed from our society as they too encourage crime,” he said.
Police have so far arrested three suspects in the Mashiyane murder.
Among those still being interrogated is a sangoma who was fingered in the girl's disappearance.
The suspects, a 31-year-old female and two males aged 25 and 36 are expected to appear in the Kabokweni Magistrate's Court.