Sibusiso Phumlani Xolo Ngidi (34) and his neighbour, Khanyisile Winnie Khusi (46), who were arrested for being in possession of human body parts in Margate last month, were each sentenced to life imprisonment in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday this week.
On Monday this week, proceedings took a new turn when Ngidi and Khusi indicated to whom the body parts belonged when they pleaded guilty to the murder of 17-year-old Mxolisi Langazana in May 2017.
Ngidi, Khusi and Langazana lived in the Nkothaneni area near Gcilima and knew each other. Ngidi is a traditional healer and Khusi his assistant.
Langazana visited Ngidi for consultations regarding traditional muthi.
In their plea statements, both accused outlined how and why they had killed Langazana.
Ngidi said that he was a traditional healer and had been told by another traditional healer, ‘Themba’, that he should kill a person if he wanted to increase his healing powers.
Ngidi then enlisted the help of his wife, his two girlfriends and his co-accused.
On the day that Langazana had come for a consultation, the group drank heavily, making Langazana drunk.
They then strangled him and chopped off his head.
They buried his body and dug it up a few months later to dismember it.
Some parts were ground up while some were placed in a pot.
Ngidi was arrested while taking the rest of the body parts to ‘Themba’.
Khusi’s plea was similar to Ngidi’s, stating that she had assisted in killing Langazana.
In aggravation of sentence, Senior State Advocate Mbongeni Mthembu described the accused as pure evil and demonic.
He said that Langazana was killed in cold blood and that it was a planned and premeditated act.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Advocate Moipone Noko said, “We welcome the conviction and sentence in this matter.
“I hope that this serves to deter people who commit barbaric acts in the name of muthi.”
Constable Siphiwosenkosi Hlongwane of Margate Detective Services is now searching for Ngidi’s wife and his two girlfriends, who are on the run.
Local traditional healer, Philani Zama, said he welcomed the sentence as the pair had painted a very bad picture of what traditional healers believed and practised.
“Traditional healers use herbs and practise within the law. We certainly do not use body parts. What they have done is pure evil and witchcraft. We certainly don’t use these methods and they have given us a bad name.”
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