Four South African women – described by a judge as ‘instruments of evil’ – have been jailed for the fatal exorcism of Sinethemba Dlamini, 14, above.
The Durban women, according to this report, believed that Dlamini was possessed by a demon and decided to disembowel her via her private parts to take out the demon code “44666” they believed was in her intestines.
Two of the teen’s killers, Fundiswa Faku, 33, and Lindelwa Jalubane, 41, were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Jalubane’s daughters Nokubonga, 22, and Minenhle, 19 were jailed for 12 years, one half of which is to be suspended for five years on condition they are not convicted of murder, culpable homicide or assault during that period.
Nokubonga and Minenhle were 18 and 15, respectively, at the time of the killing in March 2012.
Durban High Court was told that all four were first-time offenders in good physical and mental health. They all attended the same church and were “devout Christians”.
Judge Philip Nkosi told the killers:
The horrific exorcism was performed under the pretext that you were removing a secret code of a demon from her abdomen. The evidence shows that all of you acted in common purpose to kill.
The judge added:
Nkosi said that the girl’s aunt, Faku, and Jalubane were in loco parentis to Dlamini, and in terms of African culture they were the elder representatives in the absence of Dlamini’s father.
The crime is horrendously serious. You killed an innocent child. The attack was sustained, brutal and cruel.
Her organs were eviscerated through her vagina and anus while she was still alive. Although it was accused one (Faku) who performed the evisceration, she wouldn’t have succeeded if she wasn’t aided and abetted by all of you.
This death was not an accident. You could have foreseen that death would happen. You were the instruments of evil driven by your desire to undertake an exorcism of a demon. You know what is practised in church in exorcisms, but you chose a bizarre method that would result in her death.
In my view, you acted in full realisation that you would endanger a human life, and you succeeded.
Both of you were therefore in a position of trust, which you abused … The deceased’s life was snuffed (out) at a time it was starting to blossom. She was showing good prospects of going far in life with the help of her father.
Her death was sudden and left her family with deep wounds which will be difficult to heal.
Nkosi said a lighter sentence of correctional supervision would have been acceptable only if the offenders had accepted they were guilty and deserved to be punished. But the accused had maintained their innocence throughout.
Hat tip: Ate Berga