Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A TSHOLOTSHO man, accused of witchcraft, was kidnapped by local community members and half buried in a shallow pit before he was sprinkled with ashes and urinated upon during a purported witch-hunt by members of a Zion Church.
The witch-hunting ceremony, which lasted for four hours, was witnessed by more than 100 villagers.
This emerged when Mr Mpopo Roy Ncube of Nemane village under Chief Gampu area approached the High Court suing his alleged tormentors for more than $900 000 in damages for defamation of character, unlawful detention and humiliation.
Mr Ncube, through his lawyers Ncube Attorneys, filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Makheyi Ncube, Cosmas Ncube, Bhati Ncube, Dumisani Ncube, Jeffrey Ncube, Ali Ncube, Tshiva Sibanda, Jemina Ncube, Chandapiwa Dube and Zodwa Ndlovu, as defendants.
He is accusing the defendants of ganging up last year on New Year’s Eve and organising witch hunting ceremony at Makheyi’s homestead.
“On December 31 last year, all the defendants, together with their fellow members of the Wafawafa Zion Church and the witnessing crowd trooped from the first defendant (Makheyi)’s home to my homestead where they forcibly took me, accusing me of witchcraft,” said Mr Ncube.
He said upon arrival at his home, the defendants ransacked his homestead and took him to Makheyi’s home where they dug a shallow pit. They allegedly ordered him to get into the pit and buried him up to waist level.
“They assaulted me and went on to sprinkle ashes on me and spit saliva at me as they insulted me and accused me of practising witchcraft. They forcibly shaved my hair and took it away,” said the plaintiff.
Mr Ncube said defendants falsely accused him of bewitching Makheyi’s daughter resulting in her death.
“The defendants defamed me and seriously tainted my reputation in my community. They are liable to pay damages for defamation of character,” he said.
The plaintiff said the defendants took a video during the ritual and circulated it on social media.
“They intruded on my privacy and while searching my home, they took two traditional spears and a clay pot and these items are of religious value to me,” he said.
Mr Ncube wants an order directing the defendants to pay $905 000 being damages for defamation of character, unlawful detention, humiliation and lost value of his traditional clay pot and two spears.
He said in the event that one of the defendants pays the money, the others are automatically absolved.
The defendants are yet to respond to the summons