School girl’s life under threat
A Form Two pupil of Ebenezer High School had to be under police
surveillance after it emerged that her life was under threat. The
girl, it was suspected, was being targeted by ritual killers.
The school is situated under Mtsambama Inkhundla. The girl’s family
were alarmed (....). They were alarmed after a young albino girl was
killed in what was suspected to be a ritual killing in the
Mtsambama Member of Parliament Bheki ‘No Problem’ Mkhonta, speaking
during the crime prevention campaign held at the school sports
grounds (.....) said they were facing a rise in ritual killings in
MP Mkhonta in a interview yesterday (....) said it was appalling
that there were still people who believed there were magical powers
in human body parts especially those of albinos.
July 19, 2011
Tinyanga condemn ritual killing of albinos
Tinyanga from Shiselweni region have condemned the involvement
of some of them in acts of ritual murder.
They have vowed to co-operate with police to have tinyanga
engaged in ritual murder exposed. The shiselweni region hogged
newspapers’ headlines last year when two albinos were killed for
At a meeting in Nhlangano this week, one speaker Sabelo Mdluli said
it was unfortunate that people now had nasty things to say about
tinyanga’s alleged involvement in ritual killings. “If a person is
found dead and body parts missing, the first person to be blamed is
an inyanga,” he said.
Mdluli explained that there is a difference between traditional
healers who use their muti to heal people and wizards who use their
muti to kill people.
March 17, 2001
Man kills wife and surrenders to cops - family
desperate to have missing parts back
MAMBANE - A man walked into a police post and narrated how he
had brutally killed his wife and allegedly dumped her body in the
sugar cane fields at Majombe near Big Bend.
The condition in which the body of Hlobsile Gamedze (nee Mamba) was
found has created an impression that the murder was ritually
motivated because she was mutilated.
The deceased’s family have alleged that when they assessed the body,
they discovered that eyes had been gorged out, the tongue had been
cut off and private parts were missing.
However, the story told by the deceased’s mother Zincane Dlamini
suggests that the killing may have been premeditated and had all the
attributes of a ritual murder.
Family desperate to have parts back
MAMBANE – The family of the late Hlobsile Gamedze (nee Mamba) is
desperate to have her body parts returned.
"We want to bury them decently as we have done with the rest of her
body. We are certain that the parts are somewhere and the one who
killed my daughter should bring them back," said the deceased’s
mother Zincane Dlamini.
Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Wendy Hleta confirmed
March 5, 2011
NHLANGANO - Sipho Tsabedze, a man living with
albinism, is appealing for support to stage a national educational
campaign against the ritual killing of albinos.
Tsabedze (27) of Mangwaneni Township said
following the recent gruesome killing of two albinos in the
Shiselweni region supposedly for ritual purposes, it had been his
wish to go around the country educating people to desist from
portraying albinos as creatures whose body parts could make one rich
or lucky. Tsabedze said this during the Mangwaneni Township
residents’ meeting held yesterday under a Jacaranda tree.
October 11, 2010
- 11 year old Albino girl killed and mutilated
Another brutal killing of a innocent child because she is born a
Banele Nxumalo, a 11 year old girl, was fetching water for her
family with a group of friends, when a car stopped and two hooded
gunmen (...) told the girls to run and as Banele's friends started
running one of the men shot her. He then proceeded to chop of her
head and right hand. This all happened in the day at a river in
Sigudvuma in front of children. They left her severed body only
taking her hand and severed head, got in the car and drove off.
Police spokesperson, superintendent Wendy Hleta has condemned the
killing of Banele and noted that Shiselweni region has become a
hunting ground where albino children are the targets.
August 23, 2010
Albino girl shot, mutilated
An albino girl has been brutally killed at Ondiyaneni in Shiselweni.
The girl, 11-year-old Banele Nxumalo’s murder is the latest chilling
ritual killing of albinos, an obsession that has gripped many parts
of Africa, especially the east where it is believed the blood of an
albino makes strong muti.
Superintendent Wendy Hleta also condemned the killing of the girl
(...). She recalled that not so long ago, an albino teenager was
killed in the same brutal manner and mutilated.
August 20, 2010
- We're not ritual killers - Tinyanga
TINYANGA have taken exception to allegations that they are behind
the recent spate of ritual murders ahead of the national elections.
He was responding to recent developments in which people have been
killed and their bodies mutilated allegedly to be used in
abracadabra to enhance candidates to win the national election.
July 8, 2008
- Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini has issued a
warning to aspiring members of parliament against committing ritual
murders to win the vote. Speaking during the Ascension prayer
service held at Embangweni Royal Residence yesterday, the PM said it
was very disturbing that, already, there were reported incidents of
people disappearing under a cloud of controversy as the elections
dates draw closer.
He said His Majesty issued a similar warning.
May 5, 2008
- Ritual muderder at Hluthi
A 65-year-old man from Hluthi has been killed and some of his body
parts were missing, in what relatives say was a ritual killing by
someone aspiring to be a Member of Parliament.
May 5, 2008
- "Ritual murder is a fact in Swaziland"
"Ritual murder is a fact in Swaziland (...)," says Robert Dube,
a businessperson in the capital city, Mbabane.
"Ritual murder" has allegedly long been a dark and secret part of
politics in Swaziland, a conservative kingdom where traditions good
and bad, including some destructive superstitions, are a key part of
Last week, the most disturbing case yet was reported in the Swazi
press, when the dismembered bodies of a two-year-old boy was found
at the edge of the family homestead. The toddler's own relatives are
implicated in the murder.
February 17, 2004
- Swazi ritual killing warning
King Mswati III has urged Swaziland's politicians not to engage
in ritual killings to boost their chances in October's elections.
The BBC's Tom Holloway in the capital, Mbabane, says that the number
of ritual murders increases at election time.
June 2, 2003
- Child murders on Swazi campaign
Three children, whose mutilated bodies were found buried in
isolated areas of Swaziland, are believed to have been killed as
part of traditional rituals to bring luck to election candidates.
Elections, held every five years, are due early next year (...) With
less than nine months to go before the next poll, this trend is
already evident. Over the past four weeks, bodies of children with
several parts missing have been discovered by cattle herders.
The latest body to be discovered was that of a girl, believed to be
16 years old, missing (...) The way the body parts had been
sliced off was similar to two earlier discoveries. The first one,
(...) had some of the body parts missing (...)
All the limbs were missing from the body of a pre-school child,
discovered several days after he disappeared. (...) several
strategic wounds also suggested that blood had been drained from the
During the last poll, several mutilated bodies of children,
apparently killed for ritual purposes, were found dumped in isolated
areas. The general belief was that these murders were either
committed by parliamentary aspirants or their agents.
Meanwhile further ritual murders are expected as the election
countdown starts in earnest.
August 26, 2002
- Swaziland Executes 8
A woman convicted of the ritual killing of a child was hanged in
Swaziland early today along with seven other convicted murderers,
the Justice Minister announced.
July 13, 1983
Reason and Superstition in Swaziland by Leo Igwe
Recently I attended a human rights meeting in Swaziland.
No matter the religion or belief they may profess, no matter the level
of education they may attain, most Swazis believe in charms popularly
known as muti. The belief is so prevalent that Swaziland can rightly be
called the Land of Muti.
Muti is a magical potion prepared by local witchdoctors called
sangomas. Sangomas are believed to have supernatural powers which they
use to produce this substance.
In Swaziland, people attribute everything - good or bad - that happens
to muti. (...) Because of the high demand for muti in Swaziland, ritual
killing is common in the country.
Ritual murder especially of children is a common experience in
Swaziland. During the human rights meeting, there were several reported
cases of ritual murder and sacrifice. And many Swazis I spoke to said
they were expecting more ritual killings to occur as the country
prepares for elections in November. Politicians would be looking for
human body parts to prepare the muti which they believe would help them
win elections. In May, the media reported a very pathetic and horrifying
case of ritual sacrifice. (...)
August 25, 2008
Government bans national march against ritual killings
Richard Rooney, Associate Professor, Journalism and Mass
Communication, University of Swaziland, commenting the Swazi
government's decision to ban a march in protest against ritual murders
in the country (July 2008):
"In Swaziland, I suspect, the Prime Minister and his Government did
not want to bring attention to the ritual murders because they have no
solution for them. (...) I'll leave aside for now rumours sweeping
Swaziland that the real reason why the government is scared of the
publicity over ritual murders is that many of those in government were
themselves elected with a little 'help' from 'muti murders'..."
Visit Rooney's independent blog
Swazi Media Commentary. This blog contains information and
commentary about human rights in Swaziland.
"Ritual murder is a fact in Swaziland" - and has
allegedly long been a secret part of politics in the country
"Ritual murder is a fact in Swaziland," says Robert Dube in the
capital city, Mbabane.
Dube, a businesperson, says his views are shared by most of his
"The victim is usually easily overpowered -- a child, or a widow -- and
killed usually by hired killers," says Vusie Masuku, spokesperson for
the Royal Swaziland Police Force. Body parts of the murder victims are
then "harvested". Taken are bits of flesh from under the armpits, a
finger and some internal organs. Legend says the most potent parts are
cut from a still-living person.
The Swaziland police report about six findings of mutilated bodies
annually. The number increased twofold in 1998, which was a year of
parliamentary elections, and were up slightly last year, which also saw
the most recent parliamentary elections. Some suspects were caught
and tried for a few of the killings that year, but none were involved in
the elections. This did not keep the Swazi press from linking the
upswing in "ritual murders" with electioneering.
"Ritual murder" has allegedly long been a dark and secret part of
politics in Swaziland (...)
Worries over ritual murders have taken on a new urgency in anticipation
of the trial of Swaziland's first mass murderer. David Simelane
confessed to police nearly three years ago that he kidnapped and killed
more than 60 women and children. The victims were buried in shallow
graves in the commercial timber forests of Malkerns, 50km south of
"The Swazi people want to know who is behind this," submitted Senator
Abednego Dlamini during parliamentary debates last year.
But little action has followed. No trial date has been set for Simelane,
and a conspiracy theory swirls around Simelane and this country's first
case of serial killings.
The suspicion has increased the public's desire to see a trial, and with
no trial forthcoming, has raised fears that a powerful cabal of
authorities is keeping Simelane out of view, lest he implicate others.
The reality of "ritual murder" in Swaziland has convinced people that
the 63 alleged victims of Simelane were killed for their body parts.
Last week, the most disturbing case yet was reported in the Swazi press,
when the dismembered bodies of a two-year-old boy was found at the edge
of the family homestead. The toddler's own relatives are implicated in
February 17, 2004