Teacher admits to killing and chopping up girl with albinism for rituals

A 40-year-old South African teacher, Josiah Thubane, has pleaded guilty to abducting and killing a 13-year-old girl with albinism for rituals commonly known as ‘Muti’.

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Gabisile was killed after some men abducted her from her home at Hlalakahle in eMalahleni area of Mpumalanga in 2018. Her 15-month-old baby cousin, Nkosikhona Ngwenya, who wasn’t an albino was also abducted but later thrown alive off a bridge to drown in a dam near the N4 highway.

Anna Shabane, mother of 13-year-old Gabisile revealed that the incident led to a beefed up security in her home as she gave her testimony at the Middelburg High Court on Tuesday August 20. She also said her family was living in fear as her daughter’s murder destroyed her family.

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“I was close to my daughter, and her twin sister Khanyisile has been more shattered by her sister’s passing. The manner in which she was killed makes me feel that they should have taken me and not her,” she said sobbing.

The aggrieved mother also disclosed that she still has flashbacks of the day she found her daughter’s headless and decomposed body with missing body parts.

“I replay the vivid images in my head over and over again and I keep hoping she would come back. She was young and had a bright future ahead of her,” Shabane said.

“I was helped by the municipality after my family was attacked to build a wall around my home and to put in cameras, but my community accused me of selling my children for money to renovate my home” she added.

The mother of the murdered 15-month-old baby was also psychologically affected, Police prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni confirmed. Mpolweni said the baby boy was abducted while his mother, Nompumelelo Ngwenya was br-astfeeding him.

“The fear is so extreme that the [toddler] cannot even go and play outside with other children and that is as the result of the attack, abduction and killing of two of their children” the police prosecutor said.

Sowetan reported that Thubane, a father of four and teacher admitted to being part of the plan to kill Gabisile in a statement read out in court. He confessed to knowing that she was being abducted to be killed for her body parts. He also admitted to killing baby Nkosikhona.

“I admit that on the 27-28 of January 2018 I did unlawfully and intentionally kill the baby by throwing him off the bridge of Zaalklap River. I admit that on the next day in Cullinan, I killed Gabisile Shabane, a 13-year-old,” said Thubane who apologized to the murder victims’ family before being led out of court.

It is expected that other co-conspirators which include Thokozani Msibi said to be a traditional healer, Brilliant Mkhize and Knowledge Mhlanga will appear in court again on May 25. 2020.

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