The motive of a South African male muti murder offender: a case study

Thenga, Khalirendwe
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Traditional healers in South Africa are easily accessible to individuals who require their services. Traditionally, traditional healers would help their clients either by giving them advice or by giving them muti made from plants and/ or animal body parts. However, some traditional healers have adopted the practice of using human body parts in muti. Traditional healers who practice muti murder believe that different human body parts have different “powers”. The traditional healer who practices muti murder will often appoint someone to carry out the murder thus they are not directly involved in the murder. There are various motives for committing murder and the current study utilised a single case study design to investigate the motives of Black South African males who commit muti murder. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, the researcher was able to recruit one participant. The participant was interviewed by the researcher in Northern Sotho. The researcher recorded and transcribed the interview. The researcher utilised thematic analysis to analyse the data. The current study identified two motives for committing muti murder, “cultural beliefs” and “financial gain”. Future studies should recruit more participants and delve into the motive, financial gain.
research report submitted in partial fulfillment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Social and Psychological Research in the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand November, 2018
Thenga, Khalirendwe (2019) The motive of South African male muti murder offender, , University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>