Archive for durban

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Nokubonga Jalubane and Nonhlanhla Mdletshe were released on bail of R500 each, and the one minor accused whose name may not be published was released into the custody of her parent without bail.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. 


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’.

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


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


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.

Fake Inyanga to appear in court (fourth one arrested in two weeks in Durban)

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

Monday 19 March 2012 – Isolezwe

10th page Headline: Fake inyanga to appear in court

A Ghanaian man, who called himself an inyanga and who allegedly conned a Marianhill man out of R18700 (promising that the man would get a huge bundle of cash from the ancestors) will appear in court today.

This fake inyanga (26) was arrested on Friday by police from Durban Central, after a trap was set by the man who was conned out of his money, and whose story was reported not so long ago.

Last week Isolezwe reported the story of Mr Nkosinathi Shange of iNgwavuma, who was conned out of R45 000 (which was his pension money from quitting his job) by a fake inyanga.

A man who was conned, having followed what happened, has refused to have his name used because he said that the people back home didn’t know that he was in debt, or that he was penniless because he’d entrusted his money to an inyanga. He said that he was walking around Durban and took a newspaper from a street vendor.

“I looked at the paper and I turned to the back sections in order to find out how I could be cured of my bad luck. At the back it said that everything could be cured by me going to an inyanga,” said this man. 

The man said that when he arrived at the inyanga’s and explained the problem he had at home, the inyanga said that there was bad muthi at the man’s homestead – and that he should bring R450 to him to sort it out.

“I brought this money and he then gave me an envelope which he said contained muthi. He said that when the muthi was used by me at home everything would come right, because the muthi would enter with me. He said that it was muthi to remove bad luck. When I opened the envelope I found R100. When I asked the inyanga about this he said that the ancestors had long been wanting to give me luck, but they didn’t know to whom to give it,” he explained.

He said that he went to buy something with the note, and it worked.

“After this I was taken into the inyanga’s office, blindfolded and struck by hands before I was told to open my eyes. When I opened them I saw a pile of money. The inyanga said that this money was all mine, but that I must first get a lion’s skin in which to gather up this money,” he explained.

The man said that he said it was impossible for him to get a lion’s skin. The inyanga said that there were people he knew who could get it, and that the man must bring R8000 in order to buy it.

 “I actually went and borrowed this money and we went to go and fetch the skin. I didn’t see from home we were given the skin, as the door was opened only a crack. The inyanga then said that he needed R5000 for a cow to be sacrificed to the ancestors. I withdrew R2000. He said that I should bring R50 000 to gather the money but I gave him R8000,” he explained.

The man said that he was told that the money was sufficient, but began to suspect that there was some trickery going on. When he asked for his money he was told to wait 90 days and then return to fetch it.

“At this point it was said that I mustn’t tell a soul about this because my family (and I) would be murdered. I ended up reporting it to the police,” he explained.

 Captain Khephu Ndlovu said that this inyanga had been charged with theft and fraud.

“People are warned about these fake izinyanga, and the police are cracking down on them because this one who was arrested is the fourth in two weeks here in Durban,” said Ndlovu.

Man conned out of R45 000 and left with nothing but a sheet

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

Tuesday 13 March 2012 – Isolezwe

Front-page headline: Fake inyanga conned him out of R45 000, and all he has left is a sheet

Caption: Mr Nkosinathi Shange of Ngwavuma is stuck with this white sheet that he’s holding, after being conned out of R45 000 in Durban yesterday. A fake inyanga disappeared with his work pension, promising that he would go home with it and return shortly with much more.

3rd page Headline: A man who wanted to be rich is now left gapingly helpless

by Simphiwe Ndwandwe

A man from Ngwavuma, who went hungry to get rich quickly, is now left gapingly helpless with a white sheet, saying that the R45 000 which he took to a fake inyanga from Durban vanished from his sight.

Mr Nkosinathi Shange (29),who yesterday confessed his troubles to police in Durban, was pacing up and down with the white cloth in which he was going to put the money which came back from the inyanga.   

Even if he gets his money back, he has become a laughing-stock as he has been deprived of R45 000 (which was the money he received when quitting his job) which ended up being taken by this inyanga. 

Shange was promised by this inyanga, who was working in the city of Durban, that he could eagerly expect money amounting to R2 million – if he quit his job and brought the money he received from his Provident Fund, which would then be prayed over.

 Shange quit his job in November, waiting all this time for the money to become available, and then brought it to this inyanga so that it could be prayed over – so that he could be turned into a rich man. 

He related this all to the police yesterday, saying that the money came into his account last Friday, and that before the hearth-stones had even cooled he took it all out at a bank in Jozini, soon after which he burnt impepho over it at home. He said that he had not yet said a word to his family about having the money, because he didn’t want to tell them for fear that they would think he was a still just a useless person crying for money.

He said that he started to talk to this inyanga the previous year when he was still living in Mandeni, where they both worked. He said that the inyanga used to take him to the building in which he worked, arriving and talking with his grandfather, who he said used to say everything that needed to be carried out.

“It was this old man’s voice (which the inyanga said was that of my grandfather) which said that I must quite my job so that I could get the R2 million which would make my dreams come true. Suspecting nothing I did exactly as it said. He told me about the money I could make, and then I saw with my own eyes a box full of money that he had. This inyanga then took out R100 from the box and gave it to me, saying that I could get a taxi-ride with it,” said Shange.

Shange said that when he arrived yesterday with the money, the inyanga said that he must not go to the place from which he was working, arriving and saying that he should put the money (and the huge bag which he was carrying and into which he was intending to put the huge piles of money to take home) to one side.

Shange said that the inyanga said he should go and look for a white sheet to use for this purpose instead. When he then tried to contact the inyanga by phone he was either unavailable or his cell was off. He said that he went to the place from which the inyanga worked, but there was no sign of him, and there was a lock hanging on the door of the place where he was supposed to be praying over it. The people working next door to the place denied seeing the inyanga.

Shange kept the cloth that he’d been told to get, shaking it out and then rolling it up, looking like he was on the point of tears. At the police station he was crying, asking how he was going to go home to iNgwavuma.

A spokesperson for the Durban police Captain Khephu Ndlovu, said that this matter is still under investigation. He said that it is an old story, people being conned out of their money because they don’t listen and they don’t tell anyone when they get into this sort of trap. He warned that if there is an inyanga on the sides of Victoria or Prince Edward Roads, and at the Workshop, people must know that their money will disappear because they don’t mess around – they will con someone right out of their money. He said that there have so far been no arrests.