Archive for demon

The case of the murder through removal of ‘amadimoni’ is postponed

Posted in News Stories with tags , , , , on June 1, 2012 by White Zulu

Isolezwe 26 April 2012 page 35

The case of the five accused (among them a 15 year old girl) of removing the intestines and sexual organs of a 14 year old girl whom they accused of being possessed by demons has been postponed to the 23rd of May. The accused, Fundiswa Faku, Lindela Jalubane, Nokubonga Jalubane and Nonhlanhla Mdletshe were released on bail of R500 each, and the one minor accused whose name may not be published was released into the custody of her parent without bail.

They appeared briefly in the Magistrate’s Court in Mlazi, and their cause was postponed so that further investigations can be conducted.

The accused face a charge of murdering S’nenhlanhla Dlamini (14), whom they allegedly tied up and accused of being possessed by demons.

Allegedly they then removed a ring from inside her and she was disemboweled and her sexual organs and other internal organs were removed, and she then died.

This case is not open to the public, and even the relatives of S’nenhlanhla cannot enter the courtroom once the court is in session. Only the parent of the minor accused can enter.

At the beginning of this case the community crowded outside the court protesting, wanting their charges to be lifted and for them to granted bail. 

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Demon Possession and Disembowelment – a potential explanation

Posted in Explanations with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by White Zulu

Demon possession and disembowelment
19th – 25th March 2012

Two stories made headlines this week in isiZulu newspapers – those to do with ‘izinyangambumbulu’ and those dealing with ‘amadimoni’.

amaDimoni
The idea of possession in Zulu culture predates the arrival of Christianity, although the addition of foreign elements has complicated the issue somewhat. Initially, what seems to be the case is that ‘possession’ (as distinct from the ‘channelling’ of or communion with ancestral spirits or amadlozi) involves spirits from outside of the clan or family group – sometimes called amandiki.

There is a notable case of this ‘amandiki possession’ from the area near Durban, which was tried under British laws prohibiting witchcraft, in 1906 in the Durban High Court, and which is recorded in papers in the Killie Campbell archives. What links this case with the current one? The fact that all the accused were women, much like the Bacchae or Maenads of ancient Greece, or the infamous witches of Medieval Europe and Salem.

So, why women? Many theories have been suggested, veering from the misogynistic assessments of the Greeks to the more nuanced understandings of twentieth-century (but still mostly male) social anthropologists. There are a couple of details which make for interesting analysis:

1. there is usually an older, sexually initiated woman who acts as the ‘mustagoges’ or initator of the
younger, sexually naïve women
2. the initates (mustai) are usually going through menarche, and are coming to terms with the soup of
hormones flooding their bodies – hormones which have been shown to induce (among other things) strange
dreams, psychological disturbances, and changes in physical appearance
3. occurrences of this kind of possession usually occur in areas where there is an existing patriarchy, as
well as heightened religious, ethnic or social tension
4. this kind of possession tends to involve behaviour which not only goes against the dominant social
system, but which actively inverts those systems: eating raw flesh, cannibalism, nakedness, and
nocturnal activity are just a few of the activities common to these occurrences

So, where the male response to similar circumstances tends to take on a physical (usually violent) aspect, the female response is to try to find a spiritual way of negotiating the shifts in their situation. The older women try to manage the process, as they have done for centuries through socially sanctioned initiation schools. However, in areas where the societal, ethnic or religious tension is severe (such as Salem in the 17th century, medieval Europe caught in the process of Christianisation, 5th century BC Athens dealing with the Peloponnesian war, or 21st century South Africa dealing with various societal issues), their usual responses can become distorted – leading to instances like the brutal disembowelling of 14-year-old Nhlanhla in uMlazi.

Five accused of murdering a ‘Demoniac’ released on bail

Posted in News Stories with tags , , , on March 23, 2012 by White Zulu

Front page headline: Outcry as ‘demoniac’ accused granted bail

3rd page headline: Bail granted in the case of the demons

Isolezwe 23rd March 2012 page 3

by Bawinile Ngcobo

CAUTION: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED or WEAK of STOMACH

Utterly depressed, the relatives of the mother of the young girl whose entrails and private parts were ripped out, allegedly to remove the demons which were possessing her, went home after the five accused of the murder were granted bail in the Mlazi magistrate’s court yesterday.

These relatives, among whom was the grandmother of Nhlanhla Dlamini (14), sat outside the court waiting for the decision the whole day, as it was not permitted for members of the community to attend the case because there was a minor among the accused.

The case was attended by the father of the fifteen-year-old child, as well as court officials and reporters from this newspaper who obtained permission after the company lawyers lodged a request that they be there (although the permission did not extend to writing about the testimony which related to the minor).

Miss Fundiswa Faku, Mrs Lindela Jalubane, Miss Nokubonga Jalubane, the minor accused and Miss Nonhlanhla Mdletshe were released on bail yesterday, having been warned not to approach any of the witnesses and to remain at the addresses which they gave to the court, and also not to approach Mlazi where the incident took place.

Four of the accused, Miss Faku, Mrs Jalubane, Miss Jalubane and Miss Mdletshe, were granted bail of R500 each, while the minor accused was released into parental supervision.

Magistrate Anesh Sukdeo said that according to the constitution there was no legal reason to keep people incarcerated needlessly, and that they were not a danger to the community.

He stated that some of the accused are still at school, and others are caring for homes with children.

He said that the investigating officer of the case, Warrant Officer Alex Gumede, failed to give sufficient reason why they should not be released, apart from saying that he feared that other witnesses of their actions would be afraid to write statements as they were afraid that the accused would do the same thing to them that they did to Nhlanhla.

The prosecutor of the case, Miss Nomkhosi Ngubeni did not ask a single question of the accused when they were making their bail application, apart from saying just that the state had no questions.

Even when the Magistrate repeatedly questioned her about why she had no questions when they were debating the bail, she clearly stated that there were none.

The lawyer for the accused, Mr Moss Mjwara, told the court that it is clear that the state does not take the investigation of the case seriously, as 13 days after the case was opened not a single statement has been taken from witnesses, and the investigating officer had not found out whether the accused had any prior cases against them.

Gumede presented evidence that praying took place from March 9th to early in the morning on March 10th, during which time Mrs Faku and the other accused were wanting what they called the ‘code’ of the deceased girl.

Mrs Faku said that she wanted this ‘code’ because she said that she had also become possessed by the demons which left the deceased.

Gumede said that they (Miss Faku and the deceased) removed their clothing and were trying to remove the demons by scrubbing at each other’s private parts, until Miss Jalubane expressed disapproval – saying that they should stop playing and do what they said they were doing.

He said that the deceased ran out of the room in which they were, and they hunted her and caught her and brought her back, hitting her and saying that she didn’t want the demons to be removed.

Miss Faku said that she got on top of the deceased while the others held her by her hands and feet, spreading her private parts, thrusting in her hand and removing her innards. They tied knots in the intestines which came out. They removed other lumps of flesh, calling a small boy to bring a plate and a cup in which to put them. 

He said that Miss Mdletshe phoned the police and they were caught in this way. The case has been postponed to the 25th of April this year. 

Brutal Murder of a ‘Demoniac’ (14) near uMlazi

Posted in News Stories with tags , , , on March 19, 2012 by White Zulu

Those who ‘murdered a demoniac’ and removed her entrails make court appearance

Isolezwe 14 March 2012 page 4

CAUTION: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED or WEAK of STOMACH

By Bawinile Ngcobo

The five people arrested and accused of murdering a young girl aged 14, whom they claim was a demoniac, will again appear in court in uMlazi next week.

The accused, who are Fundiswa Faku (29), Lindelwa Jabulane (37), Minenhle Jabulane (25), Nokubonga Jabulane (18) and Nonhlanhla Mdletshe appeared in court on Monday, and the case has been postponed to March 19th, so that the investigation can continue and they can file a request for bail.

Sinethembe Dlamini (14) of J section in uMlazi, died on the scene after being disemboweled and having her private parts removed by the accused, who said that they were removing demons which they had pointed out were in her lower abdomen.

It is alleged that they prayed over her, saying that she was possessed by demons in her lower abdomen, after which they began to pull at her private parts, saying that they were removing the button in which the demons were hiding.

It is alleged that they pulled her and pulled out lumps of flesh from inside her and that her entrails came out through her private parts.

Spokesperson for the police in the province, Captain Thulani Zwane, said that police were dispatched to the area after members of the community raised the alarm about the incident.

“When the police arrive the little girl had already lost a lot of blood but they were able to arrest the five accused who have since been  charged with murder,” explained Zwane. The accused are being held at Westville prison until they appear in court.