KZN woman gets 20 years in jail for attempting to sell child with albinism

23 January 2023 - 11:18
By Suthentira Govender
A KZN woman has been jailed for 20 years for attempted human trafficking. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Allan Swart A KZN woman has been jailed for 20 years for attempted human trafficking. Stock photo.

A KwaZulu-Natal woman has been slapped with a 20-year jail term, seven years after she attempted to sell a child with albinism to a traditional healer for R100,000.

The sentencing on Friday has been welcomed by the provincial social development department. It said in a statement the woman contacted a traditional healer in Manguzi, in the far north of the province, with a promise to deliver an 11-year-old boy in exchange for R100,000.

“She told the healer, James Mthembu, that a child from her area could be used for traditional medicine,” said the department.

“The incident occurred in June 2016 and Mthembu made contact with the police after he had reached an agreement with the perpetrator. The police arrested the woman on the spot and she was charged with attempted human trafficking.

The woman was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment at the Ngwavuma magistrate’s court for trying to sell a child.

MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza welcomed the sentence. “Our law enforcement agencies worked diligently during the lengthy investigation to secure a conviction. This is proof of their commitment to work around the clock to fight the harm caused by individuals who commit such heinous crimes,” she said.

She said the department and other sectors were trying to ensure the prosecution of suspects accused of attacking and killing people with albinism.

“The sentencing of the woman involved should send a strong message to those who continue violating the rights of people with albinism. We hope this will serve as a deterrent to all those involved in such inhumane acts.”

Khoza said the attacks on people with albinism had left them more vulnerable and anxious. “We cannot have such situations in our communities where a certain sector faces a high risk of attack and always walks with fear on our streets.”

She applauded the healer for alerting the police about the incident.

“We need more of such traditional healers, who are honest and willing to expose wrongdoings. Human flesh doesn't make any medicine. Killing a person is cruelty and all those involved in such must face the law. We have had several engagements with traditional healers and they are very clear that no healing can be done with human body parts.”


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