court action

Life for healer who demanded a woman’s head

THE State wants a traditional healer who “influenced” four Durban teenagers to procure him the head of an Indian woman to be sentenced to life in jail.

State prosecutor Cheryl Naidu on Wednesday submitted that Sibonakaliso Mbili, the traditional healer, had promised a group of teenagers benefits once they procured a head for him.

“He provided them with traditional medicine in continuing with the plans to secure the head. He made them believe they’ll be protected from police and the law during the commission of the offence. He promised that they’ll be paid a large sum of money knowing their financial backgrounds,” Naidu said in the High Court in Durban on Wednesday.

He promised to pay them R2 million for the head, the court heard.

Mbili (34) Jimmy Stanley Thelejala, Mlungisi Ndlovu and Mbali Magwala are to be sentenced for the murder of Desiree Murugan (39) who was stabbed 197 times and beheaded on 17 August 2014.

One of the teenagers, Falakhe Khumalo, pleaded guilty to Murugan’s murder in 2014 in Durban Magistrate’s Court and is serving a life sentence.

Murugan’s body was found at the Shallcross Sports Field near Chatsworth in Durban, where she was from. Her head was found buried at Mbili’s home in Mfume, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

The court heard that Mbili chopped the head into pieces and placed them in different tins before burying them at his home.

“This was beyond heinous,” Naidu said.

After Mbili’s arrest in 2014 he was detained in the same holding cells as the others.

“He told them bad things would happen to them if they spoke about his involvement in the matter,” she said.

Naidu submitted that Thelejala, Ndlovu and Magwala should not be sentenced to less than 20 years “considering the nature of the crime”.

The court heard that during the night of Murugan’s murder the three smoked whoonga and dagga and had been drinking.

“With or without those drugs, the murder was going to happen,” Naidu submitted.

They had planned to secure the head a year before they murdered Murugan. — Daily Sun