Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Witch-Hunter" Charged With Murder

When I covered the political death spell story last week I noted that traditional healer Jimmy Motsi's denials of being a witchcraft practitioner likely could prove important to his future well-being given that he lives in Zimbabwe, a country with a long history of witchcraft persecutions. As if to bolster my argument, the next day this story, also from Zimbabwe, showed up on the newswires. It seems that Dankeny Mpofu, a self-proclaimed "witch hunter," is being put on trial along with Thethela Ben Tshuma, who hired the hunter to kill his brother - who he suspected of casting spells against him.

Charges against them are that on September 25, 2008, Mpofu approached Tshuma who was not feeling well and told him that he was a witch-hunter and that his illness was being caused by his elder brother, Mqatshelwa Tshuma.

Mpofu offered to allegedly kill Tshuma’s brother on his behalf in return for payment with a beast. Tshuma allegedly agreed to have his brother killed and promised to pay Mpofu the beast as soon as the job was done.

He allegedly led Mpofu to his brother Mqatshelwa. On arrival they found Tshuma seated outside his house and Mpofu who was armed with a hammer allegedly struck him twice on the head and he died on the spot.

To cover up for the offence the two allegedly carried his body and hung it in the kitchen to appear as if he had committed suicide. However, the offence came to light a few days later when a dog was seen in the village carrying a human arm.

Can I just say one more time that I'm really glad I don't live in Zimbabwe? There are a lot of reasons for that, but the biggest one is that being a magick blogger and esoteric author would in effect put a huge target on my back. I will say that it's good to see the authorities prosecuting this case because there are still a lot of African witchcraft killings that never even lead to arrests, let alone trials, but the unfortunate victim here is still dead whether or not his killers wind up convicted. Was he a magical practitioner? The truth is that I have no idea, and I don't think Tshuma knew either. If this case turns out to be like most of these witchcraft killings, he just got sick and was looking for someone to blame.

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