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‘Devout Christians’ jailed for murder of ‘possessed’ teen

‘Devout Christians’ jailed for murder of ‘possessed’ teen

Four South African women – described by a judge as ‘instruments of evil’ – have been jailed for the fatal exorcism of Sinethemba Dlamini, 14, above.

The Durban women, according to this report, believed that Dlamini was possessed by a demon and decided to disembowel her via her private parts to take out the demon code “44666” they believed was in her intestines.

Two of the teen’s killers, Fundiswa Faku, 33, and Lindelwa Jalubane, 41, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Jalubane’s daughters Nokubonga, 22, and Minenhle, 19 were jailed for 12 years, one half of which is to be suspended for five years on condition they are not convicted of murder, culpable homicide or assault during that period.

Nokubonga and Minenhle were 18 and 15, respectively, at the time of the killing in March 2012.

Durban High Court was told that all four were first-time offenders in good physical and mental health. They all attended the same church and were “devout Christians”.

Judge Philip Nkosi told the killers:

The horrific exorcism was performed under the pretext that you were removing a secret code of a demon from her abdomen. The evidence shows that all of you acted in common purpose to kill.

The judge added:

The crime is horrendously serious. You killed an innocent child. The attack was sustained, brutal and cruel.

Her organs were eviscerated through her vagina and anus while she was still alive. Although it was accused one (Faku) who performed the evisceration, she wouldn’t have succeeded if she wasn’t aided and abetted by all of you.

This death was not an accident. You could have foreseen that death would happen. You were the instruments of evil driven by your desire to undertake an exorcism of a demon. You know what is practised in church in exorcisms, but you chose a bizarre method that would result in her death.

In my view, you acted in full realisation that you would endanger a human life, and you succeeded.

Nkosi said that the girl’s aunt, Faku, and Jalubane were in loco parentis to Dlamini, and in terms of African culture they were the elder representatives in the absence of Dlamini’s father.

Both of you were therefore in a position of trust, which you abused … The deceased’s life was snuffed (out) at a time it was starting to blossom. She was showing good prospects of going far in life with the help of her father.

Her death was sudden and left her family with deep wounds which will be difficult to heal.

Nkosi said a lighter sentence of correctional supervision would have been acceptable only if the offenders had accepted they were guilty and deserved to be punished. But the accused had maintained their innocence throughout.

Hat tip: Ate Berga

13 responses to “‘Devout Christians’ jailed for murder of ‘possessed’ teen”

  1. Broga says:

    The suffering inflicted on this child defies anything I can imagine. This, again, is the consequence of ingrained superstition. But is there more to it? “… the accused had maintained their innocence throughout. ” And presumably they felt not only innocent but righteous as they perpetrated the horrific and lengthy torture.

    Is this not one of the worst, you might say devilish, aspects of religion? Whereas a non religious person committing a crime might feel guilt, the devout perpetrator feels justified. And so all limits to suffering and death are removed.

  2. Justin Badby says:

    To make ordinary people commit atrocious acts of cruelty you need religion.

    The perpetrators should be sent down for life … and the evil bastard pastor / vicar / holy man who indoctrinated these ”murderesses of god” needs to go down with them because he actually planted the seed into the murderesses minds in the very first place and applied the regular heaps of manure during sermons on a regular basis.

  3. Marcus says:

    What concerns me about this report is the judge’s reported observation “You know what is practised in church in exorcisms, but you chose a bizarre method that would result in her death.”

    This suggests that he believes that demons can be exorcised, but only in a correct, church-approved manner. This, to my mind, makes him a half-wit.

  4. Steve says:

    Surely there is a preacher responsible for this extremity of belief who could be prosecuted as an accomplice, or at least for incitement.

  5. Nogbad666 says:

    “Nkosi said a lighter sentence of correctional supervision would have been acceptable only if the offenders had accepted they were guilty …”

    How on earth can a sentence of “correctional supervision” even be considered under such appalling circumstances. They murdered this child because of their deluded beliefs. They deserve to go away for a long, long time.

    I agree with Marcus (above). It looks like this judge has some sympathies with the perpetrators, he just wishes they’d gone about it differently or shown some remorse for their heavy-handedness, then he’d have more or less let them off.

  6. Vanity Unfair says:

    I have looked at various other reports of this murder and none has named a church or a clergyman as the instigator. Indeed, no church is named at all. The implication is that the criminals were self-motivated…
    To Marcus: I do not follow your logic. I “know what is practised in church in exorcisms” but do not believe in demons. Judges acquire a lot of esoteric knowledge during their careers and exorcism is likely to be some of the less-arcane. He might believe in demons and exorcism but that does not follow from the statement.
    The Church of England revised its “Deliverance Ministry” in 2012 (see https://www.churchofengland.org/media/1734117/guidelines%20on%20deliverance%20ministry.pdf) which suggests some people do still believe in its efficacy. I was pleased to note that insurance cover is stipulated.

  7. Broga says:

    @Vanity Unfair : Over the years I have concluded that the words “best practice” usually indicate a significant element of bullshit to cover what they cannot specify.

  8. L.Long says:

    When you are capable of believing unbelievable BS, you are capable of being able to commit unbelievable evil!!!

  9. Vanity Unfair says:

    To Broga:
    What struck me about the guidance was that the problem is not defined and no procedure has been specified to counteract the entity that is haunting the sufferer. However, the local bishop will know what to do and which particular magic words will be efficacious in scaring away the nasty thing.
    I think your description is apt.

  10. 1859 says:

    This appalling murder makes crystal clear that institutionalised religions and ignorant superstition are one and the same thing .
    That poor, poor kid.
    I wish I had the power of language strong enough to bring her back from the dead to spit in the faces of her murderers. What an unconscionable thing to do!

  11. Cali Ron says:

    To disturbing for words. Religion=superstition=evil!

  12. Raul Miller says:

    As the father of two daughters, this story makes me tearfully sad. How in the name of decency can one turn off such a deep seated emotion as empathy? Oh yeah, belief in religious mumbo jumbo. We must continue to work at making rationality, skepticism, and humanism the norms…for the sake of humanity.