In South Africa, a young mother named Helen Madide was forced by her husband, a muti-man himself, to kill their child. Her husband believed that his ancestors demanded that both the child and the mother die. According to these ancestors, once the two were dead, he would become rich. The man forced the woman and the child down a path where he then told the mother to hold the baby while he cut its throat. After the baby was dead he began to remove its various limbs and sexual organs. Helen survived the ordeal, however, she is plagued by the fact that she participated in hers child’s brutal death.
Jeffery Mkhonto is a survivor of an attack by gang members who removed his sexual organs. Jeffery was coerced into going to a neighbour’s house to get some food. His neighbour, along with a few other men instead removed his genitals with the intention to sell them later on.
In many cases, the body parts of these children are removed while the child is still alive. This is done as magic/muti men believe that the screams of the child enhance the strength of the magic.
This is a practice that receives little attention from the international community. Investigators believe that it is something that occurs far more frequently than we think. A prominent South African human rights activist states that “… children [go] missing every week from our townships… The assumption is that those missing children are being put into prostitution and also that they are being used for muti murder."
As believers in the ideal that all deserve the protection of their human rights, and that one is entitled to live life free from, what is our responsibility to these victims? The rights of these children are being sickeningly abused. Consider the possibility that these events may very well exist in this society. Consider the notion that everyone is at risk. In this regard, this is something that may happen to you, as well as it may happen to anyone around you. Therefore, we are all affected. What chances does the youth of South Africa, and the youth of the world for that matter, have in building a bright future for themselves?