Media Statement from Mpumalanga Media Centre
South African Police Service
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has condemned and issued a stern warning to people involved, one way or another, in dealing in human body parts in the province.
The General's condemnation follows a flare-up in kidnapping and mutilation of vulnerable individuals, especially those living with albinism. He did not mince his words when he said these barbaric and evil deeds being perpetrated against these people needed to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
General Zuma asked where the spirit of humanity and morals is when one kills other people for the sake of their body parts for whatever purpose. General Zuma asked how it happens that strong men break into a house where powerless women and children are sleeping to kidnap vulnerable children at gun point.
He stated categorically that the men and women in blue in this province will do everything in their might to ensure that these barbaric and heartless incidents are brought to an abrupt stop.
However in doing so, the General stressed the need for all sectors of society to band together, identify and isolate the culprits, thereby unleashing the full might of the law unto them. General Zuma called specifically on traditional healers and religious groups to protect the integrity of their practice by blowing the whistle on their unruly counterparts involved in these evil acts.
“These gruesome acts are a violation of the basic human right to life and are unethical, unacceptable and disgusting. Attacking human beings is tantamount to attacking the state and its consequences are dire. We will not hesitate to act against anyone threatening or putting others' lives at peril, without fear, favour or prejudice, ” said the Provincial Commissioner.
To show the severity of the problem, the General mentioned a few incidents that took place in Mpumalanga:
- 14-year-old Gabisile Shabane, who was living with albinism and her 15-month-old cousin were recently abducted from their parental home at Vosman, near Witbank. According to information, the villains apparently mistook the 15 month light-skinned toddler with another one who is also living with the condition and also stays there. Five people have since been arrested and are attending court at the Witbank.
- The remains of a 65-year-old woman were found at Clewer near Witbank. Three men have since been arrested in connection thereof. However one of them collapsed and died while in police custody, an investigation is underway to that effect.
- Another incident involves six convicts, among them clergy men and traditional healers, who some of them were sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping and murdering a six-year-old girl at Mgobodzi near Malelane.
- In the most recent incident police are looking for information that may lead to the arrest of suspects who dug up a grave and violated a corpse.
The grave of a 28-year-old man, Xolani Mkhize who had been living with albinism was dug up by unknown suspect(s) and his body violated on Tuesday, 13 March 2018, after he had been buried on the previous Saturday, 10 March 2018, at the Tekwane North cemetery, just outside Nelspruit.
Anyone with information about these incidents are urged to contact Lieutenant Colonel Jacky Mbuyane at 0824 691478 or Sergeant Barney Mathebula at 0764 757583 or call the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111.
Media Enquiries: Brigadier Leonard Hlathi - 082 462 0804
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