Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Africa

Family accused of witchcraft

by Staff Reporter
11 Feb 2016 at 14:38hrs | Views
ANGRY villagers chased away four families this week, threatening them with death after accusing them of witchcraft.

They shrugged off a traditional leader's ruling, attacked cops and burned down houses.

The violence was sparked by a confused gogo found in a late at night.

The drama began in the early hours of Sunday.

It led to three houses and two vehicles being burned on Tuesday night at Mohodi Ga-Manthata, outside Senwabarwana, in Limpopo.

Violet Raboshakga told the SunTeam her dogs were barking at about 1am on Sunday, and she heard footsteps in her yard.

She looked out and saw a gogo stumbling around.

"I woke my kids to confirm what I was seeing, but they were too scared to go out with me," she said. "I switched on the lights and went to deal with her but she ran to the garage and hid.

"I was shocked that the woman was someone I know from the village," said Violet, whose husband was killed in a car accident three months ago.

Violet said the gogo smelled bad as she had soiled herself.

She claimed the gogo alleged she was sent to the yard to cause family members to suffer strokes.

A video given to the SunTeam shows the woman being asked what she was doing there. She said it was her unlucky day as she had entered the wrong yard and couldn't get out.

On Tuesday, residents met local traditional leader Mankwe Manthata to discuss the strange event.

After the woman reportedly named three other women who performed witchcraft with her, Manthata ruled that she had to leave the village.

Manthata said: "It would not be fair to chase away the other women she named because we don't have proof.

"The one who was caught must just leave our village because we cannot live with such people."

But the head woman's decision angered residents.

They went from the meeting to the houses of the women identified and told them to leave or face being burned to death.

Some people tried to burn their houses with petrol bombs.

Police got there just in time to stop this, and when villagers began stoning them, the cops dispersed the crowd with rubber bullets.

On Tuesday night, after police had left the kasi, a crowd gathered and burned three houses and two vehicles.

One resident said: "We want these people out of our village as they are bewitching us.

"People have become useless, drinking and smoking dagga at home. Maybe the dark cloud hanging over our village will go," she said.

The Manthata Tribal Council's Shadrack Manthata said: "We are disappointed that residents didn't respect our leader's decision and took the law into their own hands.

"We will have another meeting with them to conclude this matter."

Lieutenant Phuti Morema said Dendron police arrested seven people after Tuesday's violence.

The four women and their families are being kept safe.

"No one has been arrested for burning the three houses and our investigations are continuing," said Morema.

Source - Zambia Daily Mail