KZN muti suspects 'assaulted' by police

A seven-year old boy, who was beheaded in an alleged muti transaction, also had his testicles removed, the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.

This emerged at the first appearance of two 18-year-old men—Lizwi Gwiqisa and Bandile Msiki—and a 42-year-old building contractor, Petros Gwosebenn, who are charged with murder and contravening the Human Tissue Act.

Msiki is also being charged for withholding information. It is alleged that Gwosebenn hired Msiki and Gwiqisa to kill seven-year old Vuyani Ngqulunga for R20 000.

Asking for a postponement of the case, state prosecutor Vera Alamchand said: “Other evidence needs to be traced as well as the testicles of the little boy, which were removed.”

Objecting to the state’s request for the case to be postponed for seven days, defence attorney Veraysha Moodley told the court Gwiqisa had been subjected to police brutality after his arrest.

“He was severely shocked and assaulted by the arresting officer and he is willing to identify the officer,” she said.

“He feared for his life and admitted to the crime.
He has a scar on the right side,” she said.

She said the assault on Gwiqisa only stopped after he had named an accomplice—Msiki.

She said Msika was also severely beaten but did not admit to anything. Neither of the men had received medical treatment.

The court was told they were assaulted on the day of their arrest on November 10.

Gwosebenn’s defence attorney Minosh Haripersadh objected to the state’s demand for a seven-day postponement, saying there was no evidence against his client.

“He was arrested because he was implicated by one of the accused. Police have absolutely no evidence,” he said.

Haripersadh sought bail for his client, but magistrate Virushka Jamuna said the request was premature. She said the case needed to be investigated further “as the man may turn out to be a mastermind”.

Ngqulunga went missing on November 1 and his headless body was found in KwaZulu-Natal’s Clermont area the following day.

Gwiqisa and Msiki were living in a derelict house and police found Ngqulunga’s head at the house.

On Monday police spokesperson Captain Bongani Khomo said: “The first two suspects were living at a deserted home in Clermont and on Saturday police found the head in their possession at the home—which is situated next to St John’s church. We believe the child’s head was intended to be used for muti.” - Sapa

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