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Two grannies butchered over witchcraft

 . . seventy-year-olds stabbed 14 and five times each

Tsitsi Matope
Maseru

A 24-year-old man of Boqate village in Ha-Mohasoa on Thursday allegedly stabbed to death two elderly women he accused of casting a spell on him.
The women, aged 70 and 72, were stabled 14 and five times respectively, and died on the spot.

The District Commissioner of Maseru Urban Police, Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo, on Friday told the Sunday Express the man had accused the women ofcausing his epileptic condition.
According to Senior Superintendent Kolo, the suspect, who was severely assaulted by local residents following the gruesome homicides, had since been charged with murder.
“The suspect has since implicated a certain prophet from the area, whom he alleged to have prophesied that the two elderly women had caused his illness. The suspect said the attacks were the direct result of that prophecy,” Senior Superintendent Kolo said.

According to Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo, the suspect allegedly broke into the house of the first victim at around 5am, and repeatedly stabbed her all over the body.
“She was declared dead on the spot, after being stabbed 14 times. Some relatives and neighbours could not immediately detect what had happened because she was alone during the attack,” Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo Kolo said.

After the first murder, Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo said the suspect proceeded to the home of the second victim and again forced his way in.
“This time, the victim was sleeping with her granddaughter who rushed out and screamed for help after she noticed her grandmother was being attacked.
“Some neighbours rushed to the scene and pursued the suspect, who was still holding the bloody, black knife he had used in the double murder.
“He was assaulted and taken to St Joseph Hospital for treatment. However, he is now in our custody, pending further investigations into his claims that he killed the women after a prophet had told him they were responsible of his sickness.”

Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo expressed concern over the recent increase in cases of murder over accusations of witchcraft.
In March, two women and a child died after their Matukeng residence was set on fire following accusations of witchcraft. The victims, and two other women, were asleep in their home when they were severely beaten-up before the house was set alight.

The women were accused casting a spell on an 18-year-old son of their neighbor, and a famous local traditional healer has since been implicated in the killings.
Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo said such prophets and traditional healers would be dealt with accordingly.
“What is worrying us, as the police, is that elderly women who cannot defend themselves are falling victim to these witchcraft lies. There is no shred of evidence that they are witches and above all, no one deserves to die in such a gruesome manner,” Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo said.
“We will take drastic action against anyone implicated in such cases, whether he or she is a traditional healer or prophet.”

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