A 62-year-old woman was shot 11 times and left for dead on the verandah outside her house in Bergville, at the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal, in what is believed to be a witchcraft-related killing, reports the Ladysmith Gazette.
Ward councillor in the area, Kenneth Simelane, said there was the consensus among residents in the area that the crime was linked to witchcraft.
The woman has been identified as Hlaleleni Layi Mazibuko.
A resident said, “It is believed community members say the woman was alleged by her attackers to have used witchcraft 20 years ago to resolve a matter. The family she targeted took revenge on the woman on Thursday shooting her 11 times.”
The councillor said, “People who believed in witchcraft should not be ignored, such beliefs will grow by generation and generation to come. Even though it cannot be practically proven. Our youth are being misled. We need to educate our communities about such evils and to appeal to them that talking is better than violence.”
It is unknown who the woman is alleged to have attacked using witchcraft, or the outcome of the alleged attack. It is also unknown why the family waited 20 years to extact revenge.
It is not unusual in Zulu culture to believe in curses and witchcraft or to wait a considerable time to take revenge. However, residents in the area have stressed that the woman was not a Sangoma.
Police are investigating a case of murder. “The motive for the murder is as yet not clear,” said police spokesperson Charmaine Struwig.
– Caxton News Service