S. African healer gets life for killing of Indian-origin woman

Durban High Court
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Johannesburg–A South African healer has been sentenced to life for his role in the murder of an Indian-origin woman by promising four men over $150,000.

Healer Sibonakaliso Mbili had promised one of the four co-accused, Falakhe Khumalo, 2 million Rand ($153,000) to get the head of an Indian, coloured or white woman with long hair to conduct witchcraft activities, officials said.

Khumalo took the help of the other three accused — Thuso Stanley Thelejane, Mlungisi Ndlovu and Mbali Magwala — to lure Indian-origin Desiree Murugan to a field near Shallcross sports grounds in the township of Chatsworth near Durban in 2014, the Post newspaper reported on Friday.

Murugan, a divorced mother of one, was stabbed 192 times and thereafter decapitated. Khumalo later confessed to the murder and is serving a life sentence for killing the woman.

Durban High Court

The Durban High Court earlier this week jailed Thelejane and Ndlovu for 15 years. Magwala was given a 12-year jail term.

After the verdict, the victim’s mother said: “No sentence will bring back my daughter, but I am grateful for the hard work by all the people who were involved in the case.”

The emotional 64-year-old said she was haunted by images of her daughter’s headless body in the coffin, with a plastic bag with her head next to it.

“They had committed the most horrible thing I can think of against another human being. My heart is heavy with pain, but I hope that my daughter can finally rest, and maybe one day my family will find closure.”


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