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Ritual murder suspect appears in court


‘Mantoetse Maama

Mphatšoe Ntjilo of Ha Kelebone in Mphaki appeared before the Quthing Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday in connection with the alleged ritual murder of his three children and young brother.

Ntjilo (24) and his 23-year-old wife allegedly killed their daughters aged three, five and three months and the husband’s 10-year-old brother to extract body parts for a traditional healer who had promised to use them for muti to make the couple super-rich.

Quthing District Police Commissioner, Senior Superintendent Limpho Mathaba, told the Sunday Express the couple had allegedly admitted first murdering two of the kids aged three and five in October 2014, and the three-month-old two weeks ago. The pair had then allegedly killed the husband’s 10-year-old brother last month.

Senior Superintendent Mathaba further said the couple had buried the bodies in their two mud-houses, and allegedly 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.

After the police exhumed the children’s bodies on 10 February, the husband was immediately arrested, while his wife died in hospital the following day after being severely assaulted by irate villagers.

However, when Ntjilo was brought before the court on Wednesday, the prosecution requested that he be taken for psychiatric evaluation at Mohlomi Mental Hospital before the case could continue.

Senior Superintendent Mathaba on Friday told the Sunday Express: “Ntjilo appeared before the Quthing Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and the prosecution asked that he be taken to Mohlomi Hospital for assessment.

“Because of the application, the suspect was taken to Mohlomi on Friday, where he was admitted.”

Asked about the results of the autopsy conducted on the bodies of the four children, Senior Superintendent Mathaba said: “Unfortunately, the results cannot be made public at the moment as doing so could jeopardise the case.”

Outlining the case before the suspect appeared in court, Senior Superintendent Mathaba told the Sunday Express: “Some Ha Kelebone villagers came to the Quthing Police Station to report the shocking news that the couple 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.

“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 (8 February).

“The youngest baby and 10-year-old boy were buried in the same grave, while the other two were interned in the other house.”



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