Strong action must be taken by the SAPS to curb the dramatic increase in muti-related murders in the Eastern Cape, up from two reported cases in 2012 to 50 so far this year.

These figures are contained in a reply to a question I asked the MEC for Safety and Liaison, Helen Sauls-August.

The continued harvesting of body parts is a gruesome violation that plunges a knife in the heart of a civilised society.

According to the reply, 10 people were charged for the murders, which were prevalent in the Mount Fletcher, Xamuxolo, Mqanduli and Elliotdale. For the reply, click here:

Reply to question 200 and 201 of 2013

Last year the Daily Dispatch reported on the gruesome murders of a 12-year-old boy from Mount Fletcher, whose body was found with parts missing. According to the report a suspect had confessed to the community that the boys’ kidneys had been removed and transported to Durban.

In November two men from Gobho Village between Ugie and Mount Fletcher went missing and their mutilated bodies, with tongue and a right arm missing were later discovered in a shallow grave.

In August this year the newspaper reported on the murders in the Butterworth area of dismembered Akwamkela Jafta (7), whose body was found dismembered and Veliswa Gwayi (35) who was decapitated and skinned. According to the report these incidents sparked fears of a resurgence of muti-killings in the Eastern Cape.

The DA believes the province needs to launch a national awareness campaign to bring a halt to this barbaric practice. The current campaigns are clearly not getting the results. The SAPS must appoint a special task team to hunt down all culprits and stamp out the practice of trading in human body parts. It cannot be tolerated in any civilised society.