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ZIMBABWE (at the time: Southern Rhodesia)
Judicial CP - April 1960

Bulawayo Chronicle, 13 April 1960

'Witch' forced to strip, died after 297 blows, High Court is told

From Our Correspondent

FORT VICTORIA, Tuesday. -- Evidence that an alleged witch was given 297 blows with sticks while being driven naked eight miles through the bush, and that she later died, was given in the High Court, sitting at Fort Victoria.

One African youth, aged 18, was sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment and six cuts; one man was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and six cuts, and a third to six months' imprisonment.

Four African women were each jailed for 19 months.

An African, Wunganal, living in the Zaka Reserve, said that last September 21, his daughter fell ill. Next day the head of the kraal held a meeting to find the cause of the illness.

Six women were picked out.

The kraal head decided the four accused women -- and Murembu and Reta (who died later) -- should be taken to a witch doctor.

After a night on the road the party, led by the 18-year-old youth and an older man, arrived at the kraal of a witch doctor.

Threw the bones

Next morning each member of the party paid a fee and threw the bones. Murembu was declared innocent. Reta admitted responsibility for the child's illness, but implicated Murembu.

The youth and then said that as the two women were witches they should have their hair cut off. That was done.

The party set off for home.

On reaching the Mkwasine River at noon, the youth said that the two women were to be stripped naked and beaten.

All in the party, except the older man, cut sticks and the women were beaten until they arrived at a school.

The headmaster's wife remonstrated and the women dressed.

Again beaten

After passing the school, the women were again forced to undress and were beaten.

On arriving back, Murembu went to her home, and on September 27 Reta died.

Dr D A Parker, Government Medical Officer, Zaka, said that he found evidence of 297 blows on Reta's body.

It was stated that at the time of their trial all the accused were serving jail sentences for assaulting Murembu.

The case was heard by Mr Justice Quenet and two assessors.

Central African Post, Lusaka, N. Rhodesia (now Zambia), 20 April 1960

Woman's attacker jailed

C.A.P. Correspondent

SALISBURY, Wednesday.

A GREY-HAIRED European woman, her nose strapped with adhesive plaster, described in the High Court here, yesterday, an attack on her by an African on Christmas night and his threats to kill her family.


The African, Tamisayi, was found guilty by Mr. Justice MacDonald, sitting with two assessors, Mr. H.A. Cripwell and Mr. D.G. Lewis, of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment and six cuts.

The assaulted woman, Mrs. Alice Killick, of Jameson Avenue, Salisbury, was formerly Tamisayi's employer.

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