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Lupane woman jailed for witchcraft

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The court in Lupane failed to locate a witchdoctor to testify in a case of witchcraft prompting the magistrate to jail the accused for two months.

Ndaizivei Mpofu was convicted of accusing her neighbour, Sipho Sibanda, of being a witch.

Mpofu last month asked the court to help her bring a local witchdoctor known as “Sikapail” to testify in her defence. She claimed the traditional healer exorcised demons cast on her by a witch.

Mpofu, whose age was not given in court and lives at Dongamuzi, was convicted of contravening a section of the Witchcraft Suppression Act when she appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba. The magistrate sentenced her to two months with an option of a $50 fine.

In her defence, Mpofu said she had consulted “Sikapail” from the Lubimbi area in Binga after her husband and livestock mysteriously died.

The traditional healer told her the mysterious deaths were as a result of goblins planted at her home by a witch.

“Sikapail” wrote a letter to Mpofu advising her to bring Sibanda for an exorcising ritual to get rid of the goblins. Mpofu said she never mentioned that Sibanda was a witch, but simply delivered the letter as instructed by the witchdoctor. Sibanda refused to go to “Sikapail” saying she had no reason to visit the witchdoctor.

Under cross-examination, Sibanda told the court that Mpofu on several cases called her a witch and even did so at Chief Gumede’s court.

The court heard that during the in October 2009, Mpofu verbally accused Sibanda of bewitching her family.

Following the accusations, Sibanda took the case to the local traditional court presided over by Chief Gumede.

Chief Gumede declined to preside over the matter and recommended that the police be informed.

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