The Swazi Observer

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By Starsky Mkhonta

20 August, 2010 11:19:00

An albino girl has been brutally killed at Ondiyaneni in Shiselweni.
The girl, 11-year-old Banele Nxumalo’s murder is the latest chilling ritual killing of albinos, an obsession
that has gripped many parts of Africa, especially the east where it is believed the blood of an albino
makes strong muti.
The girl was first shot when she and a group of others scattered and ran away when a hooded gunman
surprised them on Wednesday afternoon.
Banele was at a river at Sigudvuma when two men alighted from a car and started accosting the children
who had come to collect water.
The gunman then ordered the terrified girls to go and as they ran helter skelter, he shot Banele and
beheaded her – chopping off her right hand as well. After loading the girl’s body parts, the murderer
with his companion then drove away.
The headless Banele was discovered a distance away from the scene of the attack. Residents then raised
an alarm after hearing the screams of the other children. Police quickly arrived at the scene and tried to
follow the direction the killers had taken.
The car had tinted windows and four occupants – two men, a woman and a child.
Yesterday a mood of depression enveloped the community over the senseless killing of the grade three
Patmos primary school pupil.
Banele’s grandmother, Alice Nxumalo (60) fought back tears as she related the brutal act against her
She believes Banele was sold to be killed and that the killers had been following the little girl throughout
that day.
Banele’s brother, Sondelani (20) said he tried to chase after the man who had by then shot Banele
before beheading her. Earlier that day, he said, a suspicious car had been seen driving around the area.
Banele’s father, Luvalo Nxumalo said he was still to come to terms with the brutal killing.
Police spokesman, Superintendent Wendy Hleta also condemned the killing of the girl, noting that the
Shiselweni region has become a hunting ground for people targeting albino children.
She recalled that not so long ago, an albino teenager was killed in the same brutal manner and
mutilated. She warned that it was crime in Swaziland and elsewhere to possess human body parts.
Meanwhile, Hosea MP, Mduduzi Mabuza appealed to members of the public to rally around the police
in arresting the people he described as barbarians.

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