Nelspruit court denies traditional healers bail in baby muthi case
Two sangomas implicated in the disappearance of a three-year-old girl from Boschfontein, Mpumalanga, have been denied bail by the Nelspruit Regional Court.
Magistrate Shelly Msibi on Wednesday told Jabulani Ndlovu, 27, and Themba Mnyambo, 43, both from Boschfontein, that they were a flight risk due to the seriousness of their offences.
They had pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping.
They were arrested with four other people on November 23 last year, after allegedly kidnapping Leticia Nkentjane on October 30, 2015. Her body had still not been found. It was suspected that she was killed to make traditional medicine.
“The investigating officer mentioned you will not be found due to the seriousness of the case and the sentences to be imposed if you are found guilty. He also said such offences are prevalent in your area,” Msibi told the pair.
During their arrests, Ndlovu’s house and belongings were set on fire. He fled to Witbank (Emalahleni), but locals followed him there and he had to seek refuge at the Vosman police station.
Msibi said the other four accused had made statements implicated the two accused and themselves in the offence. Local residents had made death threats outside the court.
She said Mnyambo, who had another house in Swaziland, had pointed out bottles containing muthi to the police.
According to the investigating officer, Captain Freddy Magagula, the forensic laboratory had found they contained flesh, she said. The laboratory was still determining whether this was from a human or an animal.
The case was postponed to April 1