Posts Tagged ‘Canibal’

Earlier this week, I uploaded a post about the practice of harvesting body parts for Muti in South Africa. As shocking as the practice is, I was even more shocked to discover another similar case involving a government official in Kwazulu-Natal. A chopped hand was found after several would-be assassins were intercepted on their way to kill Kwazulu-Natal Premier, Dr. Zweli Mkhize. The hand was to be buried as muti before the assassination to give strength to the would-be killers.
The practice of harvesting body parts for Muti is not uncommon in South Africa. It’s also pretty common for those using muti to consume the flesh of the dead to make the muti more powerful.

The financier of the assassination attempt was King Melizwe Dlamini. It is alleged that he began planning the assassination after the Premier diverted some R1.1 billion in development funding from Dlamini’s Nhlangwini area on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. He hired five thugs who were to carry out the murder, one of them reported the on-goings to the police and this is how they were subsequently caught. According to reports, Police deny that they were given any information prior to the arrest of the suspects.

Incidents like this make the practice of acquiring human body parts seem even more real than before. It makes you wonder how often crimes like this are committed in South Africa. What do you make of the practice of consuming human flesh? It’s pretty gruesome, but it’s a practice found in a number of cultures around the world…

If you have any thoughts or information about muti-related crimes, please feel free to comment or email me at

To read our original post about muti murders, click here

Many South Africans have been known to consult with witchdoctors or traditional healers who make “muti”, a traditional form of African medicine. And while muti is usually made from a combination of different roots and herbs, the number or gruesome cases of “muti murders”, where people are killed and their body parts harvested for ingredients for muti, are on the increase.

According to an article published by News24, there is a deep-founded cultural belief that body parts make the medicine more effective and that it can solve any problem, from poverty to health issues.

There is also another belief that muti is more powerful when the body parts come from live victims. These body parts are usually sourced through third parties, who are tasked with finding the items required by witchdoctors.

I found an account given by a man who found the dismembered body of his mother. The mother had her throat cut, her breasts, womb and clitoris removed, as well as her eyes, and tongue taken. According to the man, the killer was paid R30 000 to perform this heinous deed.

According to local beliefs, different body parts symbolize different things. For example, breasts signify good fortune, an Adam’s apple is used to silence people, eyes are taken to improve vision and skulls provide protection to those who bury them.

Muti murders are shrouded by a code of silence, where people are fearful of speaking out, allowing the practice to continue with little or no consequence for the perpetrators.

Muti Murders in South Africa has led to the creation of an illicit black market for human body parts. In 2006, police raided a beauty salon that was found to have human body parts inside its walls. >

Stranger still was a comment made by the then Minister of Safety and Security at the time, Charles Nqakula, who stated that cannibalism is not a crime under SA law.

How does the practice of muti murders affect the value of human life? Why don’t we have laws that make it illegal to consume human flesh. After cases such as that of the cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer in the United States of America, would it not be advisable to begin considering amendments to the law for this sick crime?

There have been numerous diseases caused by the consumption of human flesh among cannibals. Is this something we really need to deal with in South Africa?