Limpopo Man Decapitates Brother After Accusing Him of Practicing Witchcraft

Tshidimbini village: A 41-year-old man has died after being decapitated early Monday morning by his 38-year-old brother. 

What You Need to Know

Police have arrested a 38-year-old South African man for beheading his brother as well as seriously injuring his 32-year-old sister and his 10-year-old niece in a stabbing attack. Both the sister and the niece are in hospital receiving medical attention. 

According to local reports, residents awoke on Monday morning to find the head of the deceased placed upon a stone outside of the family home. 

“Upon arrival at the scene, we came across a human head at the gate and when we proceeded into the house, we found the decapitated body of a 41-year-old man, tied up with a rope,” said police. 

A hammer, spade, and ‘sharp knife’ were retrieved from the residence, with police believing them to be the weapons used in the attack. 

“We also established that a 32-year-old woman and her 10-year-old daughter had already been transported to the hospital after they were attacked by the same family member.” 

As such, police have opened a case of murder and two cases of attempted murder. 

Local outlet Scrolla Africa has claimed residents, wishing to remain anonymous, relayed that the man had accused his siblings of bewitching him. 

The Details

As previously reported, Muti, also known as umuthi in Zulu, is an alternative word for medicine in some localities but colloquially refers to witchcraft. Muti is deeply ingrained in South African society, as well as the wider Southern African region. The psychological impact of the belief in witchcraft is staggering, as seen in this case. 

Furthermore, in early March, a Lesotho Judge ruled that Khoabane Mojela’s belief in witchcraft was an extenuating factor in his murder trial. Mojela had shot and killed his cousin in 2020, believing that his cousin was attempting to bewitch him. The Judge accepted the argument of Mojela’s lawyer, who claimed, “the accused believes in witchcraft hence he believed the deceased was consulting witchdoctors in order to harm him. He is a normal human being. He was impulsive because he believed he was going to be killed through witchcraft.” 

So, What Now?

In this case it is likely the police will pursue a clear case of murder and attempted murder against the accused, with the resident’s claims unlikely to be put forth in court due to the complex role witchcraft, and the belief in witchcraft, plays in South African society. 

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.

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