This may be the most horrific account of a murder, let alone a botched exorcism, that I have ever heard of. While the four defendants were found guilty, they are free on bail. Someone may need to explain to me how human beings who could do such a gruesome thing could be allowed to walk among society and take care of their children.
Because this is South Africa, you may not have heard of this but we probably should have. In this article, we learn that four women were found guilty of the murder of 15 year old Sinethemba Dlamini in 2012. Fundiswa Faku, 29, Lindela Jalubane, 38, her daughter, Nokubonga Jalubane, 18, Nonhlanhla Mdletshe, 21, and a 15-year-old minor all pleaded not guilty. No bail has been set as they await sentencing. They are free until then. Faku apparently did the actual killing.
The women were reportedly related to Dlamini (as niece and cousin) and believed she was possessed by demons. They restrained and beat her, trying to extract some “code” from her to release the demons, eventually manually disemboweling her. The account is incredibly difficult to read. If you have a strong constitution, you can read it here.
Demon possession did not wash as a defense, but there is something insane about the violence of this act and the decision that these woman are fit to continue to take part in society. Why that is, I can’t quite comprehend. The judgments against them have been lenient because they are mothers or students, and one is a minor. As if those are acceptable reasons.
What role strong religious belief played is also unclear. Therefore, questions remain from us faraway observers — could this have been prevented by education or less religious fervor? Is there something deeply wrong with the culture in which these women were embedded that led to this crime and could lead to future like-crimes? Is the potential for additional exorcism murders a continued reality? I can’t even…