Teen whipped to death
by Riot Hlatshwayo, News24.com (Johannesburg, South Africa)

February 4, 2003

White River - An inyanga allegedly sjambokked his stepdaughter for six hours, eventually killing her, after accusing her of stealing R40 [about $5.00 U.S.]

Zanele Maphisa, 19, was whipped between 22:00 on Monday night and 04:00 on Tuesday morning while her younger brothers listened helplessly to her cries for help, said Lowveld police spokesperson Captain Mtsholi Bhembe.

She died on the inyanga's bedroom floor at their home in Mganduzweni tribal trust near White River.

"The girl's three younger brothers listened helplessly to their sister's cries for help as she was beaten behind the closed door," Bhembe said.

After the girl collapsed, the inyanga, Zonele Enoch Maphisa, 52, went to a neighbour for help. When they returned to the house, the girl was dead.

They then reported the case to nearby Masoyi police station. "Police found the teenager's body to be in a bad state," said Bhembe. "The sjambok wounds were all over her body and were shocking."

The inyanga was arrested and appeared in the Masoyi periodical court on Tuesday.

He was not asked to plead and was granted R2 000 [$250] bail, which he was unable to pay.

He was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in court again on March 4.

The girl's mother, who is also said to be an inyanga, was not at home at the time of the incident as she separated from her husband in September last year.

She left her four children with her husband and moved to Soweto in Gauteng, said Bhembe.

Police have asked social workers to determine whether the children were abused in the family.

- African Eye News Service

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