Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mob murders "witches"
Wednesday, Mar 23 2011 12PM 15°C 3PM 15°C 5-Day Forecast Young woman and grandmother stoned to death for being 'witches'
By Stewart Maclean
Last updated at 5:08 PM on 22nd March 2011
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A young woman and her grandmother were stoned to death by a gang of teenagers in South Africa who accused them of being witches.
Cynthia Lemaho, 26, and her 81-year-old grandmother Mupala Motopela were dragged from their home at 5am yesterday by a gang of youngsters who pelted them with rocks until they died.
Today police launched a murder investigation following the tragedy, which happened near the town of Tzaneen in South Africa's northern Limpopo province.
An aerial view of a village in Limpopo province. Cynthia Lemaho, 26, and her 81-year-old grandmother Mupala Motopela were pelted with rocks until they died
Spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said it appeared many members of the local community believed the women had been witches.
He said: 'This is still very much a live investigation but it appears that the victims were targeted because of the belief that they were somehow involved in witchcraft.

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'For some people in a community it is hard to understand when others appear to be doing well in their lives.
'By all accounts this young woman was working hard and had managed to get somewhere for her family.
'It could be that petty jealousies led her neighbours to spread rumours about her which resulted in her being victimised.
'Sadly her grandmother was also murdered, purely by association with her.'
Detectives were today hunting a group of at least a dozen local teenagers suspected of carrying out the attack.
Witnesses told how the gang of vigilantes stormed the victims' house and dragged them outside just before dawn.
The screaming women were then repeatedly pelted with rocks and stones until they died.
Police said their bloodied bodies were then dragged back into their house and the property was set ablaze.
It is believed the younger woman's two children, aged 12 and two, managed to flee the attackers and escape unhurt.
Brigadier Mulaudzi said those responsible for the attack would be charged with murder and arson.
He said: 'We believe we know the identities of some of the group and we will be pouncing on them quickly.
'To our knowledge, there was no suggestion at all that these women were in any way involved in traditional medicine or witchcraft.'

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