A South African woman will spend the next twenty years behind bars after she tried to sell an albino child to a traditional healer in Manguzi in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in KZN, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, the woman approached the traditional healer, James Mthembu, in June 2016.
She allegedly told him that she could arrange for an 11-year-old albino child from her area that he could use for traditional medicine. Said Ramkisson-Kara:
In exchange, she wanted R100 000 and asked him to contact her if he wanted to see the boy.
Kara said Mthembu informed the local police and asked them to accompany him.
She said police thought the information could assist with a missing child case they were working on at the time.
Police, working with Mthembu set a trap for the woman resulting in her arrest. She was charged with attempted human trafficking. Said Kara:
In court, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Cyril Selepe led Mthembu’s evidence as well as that of the child’s mother and the police officers.
Selepe also submitted a Victim Impact Statement compiled by the child’s mother and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer Mandisa Sikakane.
In her statement, the woman said that she has lived in fear ever since the offence. Her son was also fearful.
The woman said that following the incident she kept her child by her side, not allowing him to leave the yard.
She also said that she considers her child to be a gift and she loves him very much, however, she cannot forget how difficult it was to protect him, knowing that there were people who wanted to harm him.
The NPA explained that in sentencing the woman, the court declared her unfit to possess a firearm. Said Kara:
The court further ordered that a social worker go to the woman’s house and assess the situation regarding her own children.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in KZN, Advocate Elaine Zungu, welcomed adding she hoped the sentence would discourage criminals from killing people living with albinism for the purpose of traditional medicines. | IOL