A traditional healer who convinced a family that their young boys were bewitched and only ‘sexual penetration’ would heal their young boys was given five life sentences and an additional 10 years, Northern Natal Courier reports.
The 30-year-old from Msinga, whose name was not released by Natasha Kara, spokesperson for the director of public prosecutions in KZN, for fear that it would identify the victims, appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The incidents all occurred between July and August 2015 when the healer approached the family, claiming he had received a ‘prophecy that they had been bewitched’.
To undergo healing, he convinced the family to take their sons – aged between 15 and 20 – to his home where they were sexually assaulted as ‘part of their healing’.
The family became suspicious and eventually called the police.
State advocate Suhana Singh handed in a victim impact statement facilitated by court preparation officer Thobekile Chuene, compiled by each of the complainants. They all told of the trauma they encountered during and after the ordeal.
They said they were teased by members of the community and felt depressed and alone. They mentioned that they no longer socialised and felt suicidal. He made them believe the boys would die if he did not cure them. She said the accused showed no remorse at any stage.
Singh, in aggravation of sentence, told the court the accused used his position as a traditional healer to manipulate and instill fear in the complainants and their families. He made them believe the boys would die if he did not cure them.
The court sentenced the accused to five terms of life imprisonment for each of the rape (on diverse occasions) counts and 10 years’ imprisonment, where the accused was convicted of a single act of rape against one of the complainants. The sentences will run concurrently with that of life.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Moipone Noko said: “I find the sentence fitting and hope that it will have the necessary deterrent effect on sexual predators. It is disappointing to see how the accused betrayed the relationship of trust that he had with the complainants and their families. It is very unfortunate that the complainants may be emotionally scarred for a very long time.”
– Caxton News Service