Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


7 witchcraft suspects burned to death in Tanzania

10 October 2014, 16:06

Dar es Salaam - Seven people accused of witchcraft have been burned alive in Tanzania, police said Friday, adding they have arrested 23 people in connection with the crimes.

"They were attacked and burnt to death by a mob of villagers who accused them of engaging in witchcraft", the police chief for the western Kigoma region which borders Burundi, Jafari Mohamed, told AFP.

"Five of those killed were aged over 60, while the other two were aged over 40", he added.

Among those arrested on suspicion of carrying out the killings was the local traditional healer, or witch doctor.

Relatives of those killed described horrific scenes, with the bodies of family members hacked with machetes or burned almost beyond recognition.

"When I returned home in the evening, I found the body of my mother lying 10m away from our house, while the body of my father was burnt inside the house", said Josephat John, according to Tanzania's Mwananchi newspaper.

The attack in the village of Murufiti took place on Monday but reports only emerged after police announced the arrest of the suspects.

"We are holding 23 people including local leaders in connection with the attack", Mohamed said.

"They will appear in court to face murder charges."

Belief in witches and black magic remains strong in many parts of Tanzania.

A local rights group, the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), has estimated as many as 500 "witches" are lynched every year, based on reports that counted some 3 000 people killed between 2005 and 2011.

Many of those killed were elderly women, the centre said.

The rights group said some are targeted because they have red eyes, seen as a feared sign of witchcraft, even if they in fact that is the result from the use of dung as cooking fuel in impoverished communities.

The centre said that many local people believe that witchcraft is behind every misfortune, from infertility and poverty to failure in business.

Past attacks have included a series of bloody assaults against albinos, as well as against young children.

In Tanzania, albinos are killed and dismembered because of a widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity.


Tags tanzania

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...