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Malawi Court sentences 12 people including Catholic Priest to death for killing albino

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A Malawian High Court has sentenced 12 people, including a Catholic Priest and a police officer, to death for the 2018 killing of a 22-year-old albino man.

The convicts which also included the victim’s brother, were found guilty by
Judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga, of kidnapping the deceased and killing him before selling his body parts to ritualists.

The conviction of the accused on Friday, according to Malawi officials, was just one out of many cases where more than 170 albinos have been attacked in the country since 2014 by people who believe their body parts bring luck and wealth.

Some of those convicted by Judge Kamanga were Rev. Father Thomas Muhosa, a Catholic priest, Chikondi Chileka, a police officer, Lumbani Kamanga, and the deceased’s brother, Cassim Masambuka, as well as eight others who bought the severed parts of the victim.

The charges against them included murder, extracting human tissues, causing harm to a person with disability, and trafficking in persons.

In sentencing the accused, the judge said the state had proven beyond reasonable doubt they had conspired to kill Masambuka to extract his bones based on a perception they would benefit financially.

She said Masambuka was a victim of violent attacks on persons with albinism who have not been adequately protected by the co6.

Masambuka went missing from his village on March 9, 2018, and his limbless body was found buried in a garden on April 2, 2018, in his home district of Machinga south of Malawi.

Court documents show that Masambuka was enticed by his iwn6 brother to meet his friends, who he claimed had found a girl for him to marry.

“But when they reached the scene, the alleged friends grabbed Masambuka by the neck and dragged him to a garden where they killed him. Here, his assailants cut off his limbs, burned his body using petrol and buried it there,” the court heard.

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South African serial rapist gets four life imprisonment terms

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A South African serial rapist and killer, Philani Justice Nkosi, has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms by a Mpumalanga High Court for rape and murder.

The court also sentenced the 35-year-old to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering one of his victims who recognised him.

Nkosi was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of one count of murder, three counts of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, who expressed satisfaction with the sentence, said Nkosi committed the offences between 2014 and 2018 in Bhuga Trust and Halfway Trust in KaBokweni.

“In one incident which stands out, the accused attacked a 12-year-old victim while she was on the way to the local shop. He dragged her to the nearby bush, raped and strangled her to death,” Nyuswa said.

“He also raped another woman in March 2016, stabbed and robbed her of cash.

“The accused continued with his crime spree until December 2018 when he raped an adult woman who was on her way home from work.

“The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was subsequently arrested and linked to other crimes through DNA,” Nyuswa said.

Nkosi who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, claimed the two rape survivors were prostitutes and that the deceased was his girlfriend.

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Tanzanian court sentences 11 people to death for killing South African conservationist

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A Tanzanian High Court has sentenced 11 people to death after they were found guilty of killing a South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter, who was murdered in Dar es Salaam in 2017.

The convicts include nine Tanzanians and two citizens of neighbouring Burundi.

The victim was a renowned anti-poaching activist who was singled out by the convicts for disrupting their illegal poaching activities, according to prosecutors while testifying in court on Friday.

State prosecutors told Judge Leila Mgonya that the 51-year-old Lotter who was based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the East African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam when the taxi he was travelling in was ambushed and though the exact motive for his killing is still unknown, his colleagues believe he was singled out for his work on protecting elephants, local media reports.

While handing down the death sentences, Judge Mgonya said there was compelling evidence that linked the 11 to the two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder on which they were charged

“Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing. The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them,” the judge said.

Tanzania is one of the worst hit African countries in terms of elephant poaching, with a data released early this year noting that more than 66,000 elephants have been lost in the last 10 years due to the activities of illegal poachers.

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