Ritual murder, dismembering of boy (4), kidnapper handed life sentence

South African Police Service

Ritual murder, dismembering of boy (4), kidnapper handed life sentence
Ritual murder, dismembering of boy (4), kidnapper handed life sentence

Major General Thulani Phahla the Acting Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, is elated over the sentencing of 34- year-old Richard Masemola who has been slapped with a notable sentence for murder and kidnapping.

Masemola did a despicable act when on 4 August 2014, lured a four-year-old boy by buying him some snacks and sweets, and took him without the permission of either his grandfather nor his mother. His actions dismayed the family as after he took the boy, he did not tell them where he left him and also vanished from the area of Ga Makola in Siyabuswa where the boy stayed.

The family became devastated when they could not find their child and subsequently, reported the matter to police as Masemola kept on making empty promises, indicating that he would bring the boy back.

While police were busy with their investigation, news broke on 6 August 2014, that the body of the boy was found in the bushes stashed in a bag with some body parts missing.

On 11 August 2014, Masemola was traced at Enkangala where he was arrested hence his sentencing.

During court proceedings, Masemola indicated that he was hired by a certain traditional healer to take the boy and was promised a lucrative payment in return. His statement was rejected by the court and he was told that he was negligent in his dealings with his traditional healer.

The Judge further told him that he ought to have known that when he was told to submit the boy on the day, that meant rituals where going to be conducted on him without the consent of the parents.

The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sitting in Middleburg, then sentenced Masemola to life imprisonment for premeditated murder and 10 years for kidnapping.

“What Masemola has done is evil and must not be emulated by anyone. Genuine traditional healers have indicated that it is a myth that body parts of a human being can bring some fortune to another human being. Therefore the action of the accused is barbaric in nature,” concluded Major General Thulani Phahla.

Police in the meantime request Esser Masombuka to contact them as urgently as possible, as they believe that he can be of great assistance in the finalisation of this investigation. Anyone who knows where Masombuka is, should contact Detective Sergeant Thulani Mahlangu at 071 401 6360.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service