The muti that failed to keep the police away

The muti that failed to keep the police away

MASERU – ALL he wanted was strong muti (traditional medicine) that would fend off the police. Keketso Matsoso, 21, from Qhuuqhu in rural Maseru, was fleeing from the police after he had battered his wife. He then consulted a woman sangoma (traditional healer) in the search for stronger medicine to “keep the police away”.

Matsoso however later killed the sangoma, cut her hands allegedly in a bid to make stronger muti. He was arrested last Sunday with the help of a senior sangoma who tricked him into believing that he was going to make muti for him. According to the area chief of Likuiling and Makhalaneng Ha-Tlali, Chief Sekete Nkuebe Letsie, Matsoso was running away from the police because he was wanted for battering his wife.

The chief said the young man, who was himself an apprentice traditional healer, sought shelter at the home of his mentor. He told Maoela that he was running away from the police and she promised to concoct a muti that would keep the police away. When night fell Matsoso refused to leave Maoela’s home and he was given a separate room to sleep. However, during the night Matsoso allegedly sneaked into the woman’s room where he strangled her to death.

He then allegedly carried her to a nearby forest where he cut her hands and took them away, leaving her body where it would be easily seen by passers-by. He went to the senior traditional doctor’s village of Likuiling. The doctor, Thabo Lepau Tšito, had heard that Maoela had been killed and her body was found in the forest with hands missing. Tšitso told thepost that he immediately suspected Matsoso because Maoela, one of his junior doctors, had told him that he was sleeping at her home.

“So, I asked this boy to come so that I could make muti for him,” Tšitso said. “I made sure that he would not go anywhere far away from me because I wanted to arrest him.” Tšitso said he also called some of the traditional doctors to give Matsoso an impression that they were going to make a strong concoction for him. He called him into the house and instructed him to strip naked.

He instructed his helpers to prepare a cauldron so that Matsoso would not suspect anything, thinking that it was being prepared for him as part of the processes for taking in the potion. “Matsoso was called into the house where a big washing basin was placed with some herbs so that he would understand that cleansing was to take place,” Tšitso said.

“I told him that I was going to tie him with a rope, so tight that he would not be able to wriggle out,” Tšitso said. “I also told him that the muti I was going to make for him required that I whip him while he is still fastened and he agreed,” he said.

“I told him that my hand was bruised and therefore he should not try to escape because I would hurt myself. But the process needed to kick start with a beating,” Ts’itso said. Once tied with the rope, Tšitso started whipping him and asked him where Maoela was. He answered that she was still at her home. He intensified the whipping and asked him where her hands were.

“He kept quiet and pretended as if he had no idea. I beat him hard until he told the truth that he had killed Maoela,” the doctor said. That was when Matsoso realised that he had been caught and he confessed. And he told us that he had buried the hands in his yard so that they could not be seen.
Tšitso called Chief Letsie who came, interviewed Matsoso and then called the police.

The hands were found hidden under the bush in the yard. Police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed Matsoso’s arrest. He said investigations are continuing.

Tokase Mphutlane

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