A man from the Emanguzi area in South Africa has been busted for selling human body parts for ‘black magic’ or ‘healing’ processes. The full case is being investigated before the man – whom remains incarcerated – is possibly prosecuted and eventually tried.

The police in Emanguzi had received a tip off about rumours acquired from local traditional healers concerning a man who was willing to sell human body parts for cash. They heard that he could often be found parked in his car on Marine Drive in the township.

Police find man selling body parts for black magic

Upon venturing to Marine Drive, the police did come across a 34-year-old man dressed in a ‘traditional costume’ parked in a vehicle. They performed a search of the vehicle and uncovered a bucket that contained a human skull, torso, hand and other body parts. The man explained that his gruesome wares were designed to be used in healing practices, and that they could be bought for as little as R4,000 ($300 or £200).

The man was immediately arrested and has been held in custody ever since. DNA analysis will be performed on each of the body parts to ascertain whether they all come from the same person. It is not yet known how the man came into the possession of such items, and whether he will be charged with murder or a relatable offence.

Belief in black magic remains strong in South Africa

Superstition remains rife in South Africa, and attacks on people – particularly anyone found suffering from albinism – are common. Such practises have been condemned though by local healer Thulani Zulu.

Said Zulu: “Traditional healers don’t use people’s body parts to make muthi. That’s witchcraft. We don’t want to be associated with such acts. We want to spread a strong message that we are fighting these barbaric actions because they taint our image.”

Muthi (or muti) refers to traditional South African medicine, but it can also mean witchcraft.


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