DURBAN – A teenager who had his albino girlfriend murdered so that he and his friends could mix her body parts with muti in a bid to get rich has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Justice for Thandazile Mpunzi. The killing of people with albinism must stop!!!
— Mandisa Nene (@Lin_do5) February 25, 2016
KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the 17-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was sentenced in the Mtubatuba Regional Court on Thursday.
The youngster is the third person to be sentenced for the murder of 20-year-old Thandazile Mpunzi in a case that has drawn the ire of community leaders and activists in the Empangeni/Richards Bay area.
Two 19-year-olds, Mandla Mabuza and Lindokuhle Khumalo, pleaded guilty to murder and were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in September last year.
The court heard this week that traditional healer Bhekukufa Gumede told the youngster that “muti mixed with the body parts of a person with albinism would make them rich”.
Gumede, Mabuza, Khumal, and the youngster then concocted a plan to kill an albino in a bid to obtain body parts.
That plan resulted in the youngster luring his girlfriend Mpunzi on the afternoon of August 1 2015 to an isolated spot in the Phelandaba area of Emanguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Mabuza and Khumalo attacked Mpunzi and strangled her before her body was taken to a nearby forest.
@safmpmlive : Albinos must be one of the most persecuted people in the world. We can only imagine Thandazile Mpunzi’s final hours, horrific.
— Menzi Kulati (@menzikulati) August 20, 2015
llowing day and dismembered the deceased’s body. They took away certain body parts. At a later stage the assailants moved the remains of the body to another forest where it was buried. They were using the vehicle of accused one [Gumede]”.
The men were first arrested on August 18. Gumede is expected to go on trial later in the year.
Ramkisson-Kara said Mpunzi’s mother had told the court she now feared for the safety of two other of her children who also have albinism.