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HomeMedico-LegalAlbinism killings: Life sentences for three body-part harvesters

Albinism killings: Life sentences for three body-part harvesters

The three men found guilty of murdering Albino teenager Gabisile Shabane (13), were handed life sentences by the Mpumalanga High Court (Mbombela) in Middelburg, reports DispatchLIVE.

They were also handed life sentences for killing Shabane’s nephew, Nkosikhona Ngwenya, whom they had kidnapped with her in January 2018. They had mistaken the 15-month-old for another child living with albinism. They threw him off a bridge when they realised their mistake. For breaking into the Shabane house, they were given five years. They were also given five years for pointing a gun at Shabane’s mother Anna and Nkosikhona’s mother Mpumi. In addition they received five years each for kidnapping Gabisile and Nkosikhona. For violating Gabisile’s body, they were given eight years.

The trio – traditional healer Thokozani Msibi, Knowledge Mhlanga and Brilliant Mkhize – immediately applied for leave to appeal their convictions and sentences. Their applications were dismissed. The court had heard how they had kidnapped Gabisile to harvest her body parts for muti to make potions they believed would make them rich.

Persecution of people with albinism (PWA) is based on the belief that certain of their body parts can transmit magical powers. Such superstition is widespread in parts of Africa.


DispatchLIVE article – Life sentences for trio who murdered child with albinism for muti (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Albinism killing for muti: Immunity for state witness accomplices


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