“Izinyanga must stop cleansing criminals”

CRACK DOWN: Mpumalanga safety and security MEC Vusi Shongwe says his department will work closely with traditional healers to stop the practice of criminal using muthi cleansing after committing violent crimes. PICTURE BY Mpumalanga News

In his visit to the violent township of Marite in Bushbuckridge last year, the MEC learnt from a prosecutor how traditional healers come to court to burn muthi in support of dangerous criminals who are terrorising the area.

Safety and security MEC Vusi Shongwe is pledging a focused effort in ending violent crime in Mpumalanga, while calling on izinyanga to stop helping criminals.

He said his department will focus more resources into ending these violent crimes, particularly the ones perpetrated against women and children.

Women continue to be victims of crime in the province – a recent case being the high-profile murder of the 28-year-old daughter of EFF senior leader Godrich Gardee who was killed and then dumped at a Mbombela forest plantation.

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Shongwe recently tabled his budget speech at the Mpumalanga legislature, requesting funds for the financial year 2022/23 to continue the fight against crime.

“Crime does not only threaten our democracy, it prevents people from freely living their lives and connecting with one another,” he told the Mpumalanga legislature.

Late last year while Shongwe was holding a Safety Imbizo in Bushbuckridge’s Marite village a prosecutor narrated to the MEC how izinyanga would come to court and burn muthi outside court buildings in support of violent criminals who were arrested for murder, rape, possession of unlicensed firearms and armed robberies.

The prosecutor said in a situation like the one of Marite it was hard to fight crime and they continuously live in fear “not knowing who amongst us is next”, where even law enforcers handling cases were being attacked and killed at their homes.

The MEC said the battle will also be taken to corrupt officials in government buildings who steal from the public purse.

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“These izinyanga must stop cleansing criminals who come to them for assistance after committing all types of atrocities. They should rather report them to the police and not help crooks to evade justice,” said Shongwe, adding that they would work closely with traditional healers to try end the scourge of crime.

He added his department will work hard in making sure that they “create an environment that will enable women to live their lives freely”.

“GBV still remains a huge challenge for the province and the country at large. It cannot be correct that women and children continue to live in fear created by minority of cruel criminals who live among us,” said Shongwe.

(edited by ZK)
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