NEWS
28/02/2018 06:56 SAST | Updated 28/02/2018 10:37 SAST

Sangoma In Court For Murder Of Children In Mpumalanga

It is believed that one of the children was abducted because she had albinism.

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An Mpumalanga sangoma has appeared in court in connection with the abduction and murder of two children, including one who had albinism, News24 reported. Thokozani Msibi, from Swaziland, is reportedly one of three men accused of the crimes. The other two are still at large.

The 36-year-old man will apply for bail on March 6.

Gabisile Shabane (14), with albinism, and 15-month-old Nkosikhona Ngwenya were kidnapped from their home in Hlalanikahle on January 28. Msibi and two others allegedly broke a window to gain access to their home, where they lived with their grandmother.

Mpumalanga News reported that Msibi was arrested last week. The bodies of two children were found hidden at Cullinan near the N4 highway on Wednesday morning, but it is not clear if these are the children.

"One of the bodies was found buried in a shallow grave, while the other one was found floating in a stream. We cannot, however, confirm if the bodies are those of the two kidnapped children pending the DNA tests and post-mortem results," SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi told Mpumalanga News.

Msibi was not asked to plead, reported TimesLive. A relative told TimesLive that they believed one of the children was taken because of her albinism, but that the other child was mistaken for another toddler who was in the house at the time – and also has the condition.

Hlathi reportedly said the bodies of the children were in a "bad state" when they were found. He said the police had to intervene to prevent community members torching the house in which the accused lived.