A MPUMALANGA traditional healer accused of kidnapping and selling off a 3-year-old child has conceded in court to having lied about his involvement in the murder case.
Sfiso Mhloli Mazibe is standing trial before Judge G.M Makhanya in the Mpumalanga Circuit Court of the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Mbombela in relation to the kidnapping and murder of three-year old Lutricia Nkentjane in November 2015 allegedly for muti reasons.
Mazibe (19) was arrested in November 2015 alongside four other men.
These are Sgodvo Myambo and Jabulani “Mjeb” Ndlovu, who are pastors at Jericho Church, Luis Sithole and the victim’s uncle, Thembinkosi Maziya. They allegedly sold off the toddler.
The five have all denied the charges levelled against them and pleaded not guilty.
On Wednesday, Mazibe testified that he was assaulted by the arresting officers and forced to confess that he had auctioned off Nkentjane for R15 000.
“I put it to you that you are a self-confessed liar,” said state prosecutor advocate Sonja Ntuli.
Mazibe disputed Ntuli’s the claim.
However, he later changed his tune and conceded to have lied to the police.
He said he had been instructed not to tell anyone about the assault.
“Yes, i lied because the police who beat me up told me to lie and say I have no pains nor have I been beaten up,” said Mazibe.
He told the court that he does not know three of the accused.
Mazibe said he trained as a sangoma (traditional healer) when he was 13 years, hence he left school in grade four.
Ndlovu, Myambo and Sithole are out on bail.
The rest of the accused abandoned their bail applications fearing for their lives after the angry community threatened violence.
Outside the court chambers, Lutricia’s father, Mahewu Nkentjane, told African Times that he wanted justice to be served.
He said he also wanted to find the remains of his child.
“These people must rot in jail; let justice prevail for my daughter. As a family we want to also find the body of my daughter and bury her in dignity” said Nkentjane.
The court heard that Nkentjane had gone with Maziya, the toddler’s uncle to the bushes at Mgobodzi village, south of Malalane two years ago.
However, Maziya came back and informed the child’s parents that she went missing in the bushes.
After being assaulted by community members, Maziya allegedly confessed that he had sold the child to a sangoma and some pastors.
The trial continues.