Monday, April 20, 2009

TheTVObserver: Muti Killings

I had a heated discussion on a subject I consider disgusting. The topic was “muti killing”, which is basically the killing of human beings for ritual medicine by traditional healers. Well to be factual...the traditional healers do not kill they tender the process out. The practice is very prevalent and seems to be growing very fast in South Africa.

The debate was the result of a program called Police Files, which airs on public television in South Africa, on SABC1. It featured a gang of men who operate as consultants who harvest body parts based on specific orders placed by traditional healers. I.E genitals (male or female), lips, eyes, the head, get the picture. I don't have enough vomit bags to go through listing the whole menu. Sticking my head in the toilet is not the highlight of this post. Moving on.... Watching clips from the show was enough to get a bunch of very opinionated but intelligent thinkers to discuss the issue. The show was reporting on the arrest and conviction of the gang.

The debate was based on “The South Africa Law”, "The Constitution”, “Society”, “Cultures & Traditions” ; and “Belief Systems”. As you may be aware that in a debate, you need to have those "for" and "against" the issue. Trust me as much as we tried, no one could reason enough to make a solid point to be “for” this criminal act.

We went on to discuss how this could be looked at as acceptable in a country where every fraction is fighting for national recognition for their beliefs and traditions. One lawyer member of the debate argued that with a strong legal position. One can go as far as seeking the right to practice such acts in South Africa, due to the constitution as well as cultural or tradition aspects of the society which fuel such acts. Dreaming is very nice but when it spills over to reality....I get upset Lawyers and billable hour mentality. Moving on....

Basically, with a good lawyer and good argument…these animals who butcher innocent children, men and women, may find protection from the law. I so wanted to park my intellect and just punch him with the passion of Hitler. For attempting to make this issue find some form of legal position, although my brain could understand the possibilities thereof. I do not think this will ever be formally legalized, if it happens. It would be sure way of knowing that South Africa is going down the dump hole.

Over 70% of South Africans surveyed as part of a report on the trafficking on human body parts believe that muti killings will increase as the 2010 Soccer World Cup approaches.
"There is a clear link between muti and business. With the World Cup approaching, people we surveyed believe more people will be killed and their body parts used in muti that is bought to ensure businesses prosperity," said Simon Fellows, author of a report entitled Trafficking Body Parts in Mozambique and South Africa.

"Although this stems from generalised questions, it does indicate a deep-founded cultural belief that body parts make the medicine more effective and that it can solve any problem, from poverty to health issues," said Fellows.

"Witchdoctors, usually through a third party, actively seek human body parts from live victims," he said.

In interviews with people who had experienced muti murders first hand, the research discovered that body parts of people killed in Mozambique were smuggled to religious leaders in South Africa who believe the muti will increase the size of their congregations.

In our debate I learned that most (black) people are aware of these practices. Where businessmen or owners, would use human body parts to increase the traffic to their business therefore make more money. Even if they are rumors...its well known. The practice has been a silent part of South African black culture and I found that to be too disturbing. I equate it to those doctors who harvest kidneys from unsuspecting people. Can you imagine going to a party and waking up in a motel with your kidney missing. Gone is that cute person who charmed you out of your kidney. Who are you going to sue? Its not like you will get it back. Even if you did, would you really want it surgically returned to your body? Not knowing where it has been? Ew!

Traditional Healers Organisation (THO) national co-ordinator Phephisile Maseko was reluctant to comment on the report.

"I can't speak for others, but our members are well-informed. They would never participate in muti killings and don't believe in it. We heal, we don't kill," she said.
"Muti murders are shrouded by a code of silence, where people are fearful of speaking out, allowing the practice to continue with little or no consequence for the perpetrators," said Fellows.

So why would anyone expect the organization’s representative to incriminate her fellow members? The fact of the matter is that, as witnessed on Police Files/SABC2, every case of muti killings is linked directly back to a traditional healer. No matter how much they may try to explain it away.
Conservative estimates are that at least 300 people have been murdered for their body parts in the past decade in South Africa. Those are the reported many unreported cases?

And Dr Anthony Minnar, of the Institute for Human Rights and Criminal Justice in South Africa, fears the toll could be much higher.

The whole matter turns the aspect of missing people or children in South Africa into a very unique position, in that the family may be looking for their missing members meanwhile he/she’s body parts is pioneering a local spaza or general dealer. Not to mention the reason why some BEE executives may be wealthy beyond measure.

Clips from Police Files showing the men who are murders for hire specializing in body parts, did not help either. Although convicted. We could not help but realize that they are someone’s boyfriend, son or grandson and their families may not even have an idea that they were human butchers.

One of the few, who lived to tell the tale was Jeffery Mkhonto, when he was 12 he was mutilated by an organised gang sent to harvest body parts.

Jeffery was called over to the house of a neighbour for some food. Instead the man cut off his genitals with a butcher's knife. "They took me home and left me in front of my father's house. As they left I heard them say they are going to sell my parts so that they can get money."
On Police Files, the traditional healers President, goes on to explain that the body parts must be harvested from a person who is still alive...... and if you harvest for love or any other unique purpose. You should harvest a female’s lips, they are effective for attraction, etc. Could not listen beyond that. Can you imagine the excruciating pain and mind blowing reality of this happening to you, what about your very own child?

As it is believed that muti killings will increase as the 2010 Soccer World Cup approaches, there is no doubt more people will be looking for ways to enhance their businesses, small or large, in order to attract more business their way.

One member of our intimate think tank, leaves us with this statement as we go off to our cars ……"The fact is that people who go to traditional healers do so in their own private time and as much as that person my denounce this practice while with friends or in public. They may be the very person placing special orders to their traditional healer. After all, if this practice keeps their business, life or church flourishing, why should they stop”.
But its still MURDER! No matter how you dice this pig.

By TheTVObserver
@ 2009 © TheTVObserver. All Rights Reserved
Pictures used on TheTVObserver graphics and information sourced from third parties are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.


WhiteSockGirl said...

An act so horrific that we don't we want to discuss, let alone read about. But it exist.

Over 70% of South Africans surveyed as part of a report on the trafficking on human body parts believe that muti killings will increase as the 2010 Soccer World Cup approaches.That is correct, it will only get worse. I have heard from colleagues that the trafficking of children are on the increase. They are not only being trafficked for body parts, but also for the sexual exploitation and free labour.

Horrific as it might be, it is a multi million (if not billion) dollar business, and some very sick people out there are making sure that the demand stays high.

TheTVObserver said...

When it comes to children I get very angry, more should be done by African states or any country for that matter, to improve security measures.

To think that humans are the ones benefiting from this multi-million (or billion) dollar trade. Its beyond sick, its down right evil. I was told that some of these people steal body parts from the dead in funeral homes or hospitals.

WhiteSockGirl said...

Fyi, National Geographic channel showed an interesting program on
"Illicit Trade", focusing on drug, guns and human trafficking. Name of the program is Inside.

Anonymous said...

Oh I just love the multiple images of the White butcher cutting up bodies. We all know that Muti is a BLACK AFRICAN tradition.

Great job on the race neutrality!

Whites, Blacks, we're all just a doin' the Muti thang!

Disgusting avoidance of the Africoon facts.