Judgment is expected in the Ulundi Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday) after a man had his eyes gouged out and his private parts removed while he was still alive.
Following the possible muti-related attack on 30 April last year, victim Siyabonga Ngema, 26, is still fighting for survival in pitiful living conditions, Zululand Observer reported.
Although there is no mention of the accused being a sangoma or a muti man, speculation is rife that the organs were intended for muti purposes and needed to be from a living person.
According to evidence led in court, the accused Xolani Gift Mkhwanazi, also 26, and two unknown others forced Ngema into a car to go with them to Ceza.
Although he knew the accused, Ngema was reluctant to accompany them but en route consumed alcohol and dagga with them.
However, when they reached the area called Mame, they allegedly forced him out of the vehicle, and one of the men hit him with an iron rod on his head.
He fell to the ground, and the accused sat on his chest as he was lying on the ground.
One assailant removed his one eye while another was mutilating his private parts, and then they removed the other eye.
They reportedly left him unconscious on the ground and fled the scene.
Ngema was found by some passersby the following day.
The accused said in his testimony he was working as a driver for a funeral parlour and that he had been sent by his boss to get the organs.
While Mkhwanazi admitted to being involved in the whole ordeal, he claimed he only held down the victim and did not personally take part in removing his eyeballs and private parts.
The case is being heard before Magistrate Ngigi.
Living in poverty
According to court preparation officer Nokuvela Zulu, whose duty it is to take care of Ssate witnesses when they arrive in court and assist and empower victims throughout the daunting court processes, the incident had had major psychological, physical and financial impact on the victim and his family.
“Siyabonga is now permanently blind and uses a catheter to urinate.
“He lives with his pensioner mother, Mavis Ngema in the Dumaneni area under Mahlabathini District in the deep rural area, where there is no water or accessible public transport.
“She also takes care of four other grandchildren living in the house, and the entire family survives on Mavis’ pension and Siyabonga’s disability grant,” said Zulu.
“Siyabonga’s catheter gets blocked quite often, and his mother has to hire a vehicle at great cost to take him to Nkonjeni Hospital to get it unblocked. They use their little food money for this.
“His yard at home has rocks which makes him unable to move around and able to go to the pit toilet outside, which is 300 metres from the house. His mother keeps a bucket in the room for when he needs to relieve himself.
“They struggle with water. They don’t have a bed at their house, they sleep on the floor. Mavis is also responsible for taking care of her elder son, 43 years of age, who is also sick,” added said Zulu.
Zulu said the victim relies on neighbours to fetch water she needs to wash Siyabonga’s clothes and blankets to keep him hygienic.
“She keeps containers by the gate hoping every time that the water tanker will arrive to fill them up, but sometimes goes without water for more than two weeks.
“The family is willing to relocate if they can get assistance from anyone to build them a house or offer them alternate accommodation.”
This comes after hundreds of people in the Amangwe area of KwaZulu-Natal have confessed to eating human remains.
Nino Mbatha, 32, one of four people arrested, was formally a nyanga (traditional healer) practising in Ladysmith, and allegedly fled to Estcourt for unknown reasons.
It is also believed the three men raped, killed and ate their female victims.
– Caxton News Service