…buries their three children and hubby’s young brother in two huts
Residents of Ha Kelebone in Mphaki, Quthing district, are in shock after a local couple killed their three children and the husband’s young brother for muti to get rich and then buried the bodies in their home.
The couple has since admitted the gruesome murders to the police, saying they killed their children aged three, five and three months and the husband’s 10-year-old brother over a four-month period to extract body parts for a traditional healer who had promised to use them in muti to make them super-rich.
Quthing District Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Limpho Mathaba, yesterday said the husband and wife had admitted to first murdering their two kids aged three and five in October 2014, while the last kid aged three months was killed last Sunday. The husband’s 10-year-old brother was killed last month.
Senior Superintendent Mathaba further said the couple had buried the bodies in their two mud-houses. The couple told the police they intended to take certain body parts from the four kids to a traditional healer who had promised to use them to make them rich.
The 24-year-old husband is now in police custody and is expected to appear in court this week, while his 23-year-old wife died after being severely assaulted by irate villagers.
Senior Superintendent Mathaba told the Sunday Express: “On Tuesday, some Ha Kelebone villagers came to the police station to report the shocking news of a couple that had killed their children and buried the bodies in their two rondavels.
“The villagers had noticed that the woman was behaving strangely, as if she had suddenly become mentally ill.
“She was now spending most of the time wandering outside her house and would suddenly scream that she did not have any children, yet everyone in the village knew she had three daughters. The villagers became suspicious and started wondering why she was no longer seen carrying her three-month-old baby.”
Senior Superintendent Mathaba added the residents also started wondering why they no longer saw the couple’s two older children and the husband’s younger brother who had been living with them.
“The villagers confronted the man about his wife’s strange behaviour and also about the children’s whereabouts.
“The man told the villagers that he did not know where the kids had gone to, but when he was put under pressure, he confessed to murdering the children with the help of his wife.
“After this confession, the villagers assaulted the couple and then reported the case to the police.
“And when the police asked the man what had happened, he said they had killed their two daughters in October last year, while they killed his brother in January and the three-month-old daughter on Sunday last week.
“The youngest baby and 10-year-old boy were buried in the same grave, while the other two were buried in the other house,” Senior Superintendent Mathaba said.
Senior Superintendent Mathaba added the couple had further told the police that they wanted to take the children’s parts to a traditional doctor for ‘muti’, but had not yet done so.
“The police exhumed the bodies of the children on Tuesday and took them to the mortuary.
“Both husband and wife were immediately arrested, and the woman was taken to Quthing Hospital. However, she died the following day possibly due to the severe beating she had been subjected to by the villagers.
“The husband is in police custody and will appear in court next week,” Senior Superintendent Mathaba said.
According to the police chief, this was the most horrific incident to have happened in Quthing district in recent years.
“We have had ritual murders in the past in this district, but the suspects were never related to the victims. That is why this incident is so terrifying as the suspects were parents to the victims.”
Meanwhile, one of the villagers who spoke to the Sunday Express on condition of anonymity, said she suspected the woman must have ‘cracked’, hence her strange behaviour.
“At first, the man wanted to act as if the situation was normal at their home, but following pressure, he made this confession which left us stunned.
“I believe the woman lost her mind after they killed the little girl on Sunday.
“In addition to wandering outside the house, she was now insulting her husband and threatening to kill him.
“She was now also abusing everybody who came near her, and that’s when we approached the local Crime Prevention Committee.
“It was this Committee that confronted the husband, leading to the horror confession,” the villager said.
“The husband said they gave the children some drugs, so that they would scream when they were being mutilated while still alive. But the man claimed that he only took part in the murder of the three elder kids, and not the three-month-old girl, whom he said was murdered by the wife on her own. He claimed a traditional doctor had promised to make them rich if they brought him the children’s body parts.
“But after the bodies were dug up from their graves, the parts were still in there, although they had already been cut off. It was a shocking sight that I will never forget for as long as I live.”