Three suspects to appear in court for the killing of a child with albinism

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Three of the four men, accused of killing Gabisile Shabane, who was living with albinism and her cousin, Nkosikhona Ngwenya at Hlalanikahle in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga are to appear at the High Court Division sitting in Middelburg on Monday morning.

The incident happened in January 2018 and the suspects were arrested weeks later. In 2019, Themba Thubane pleaded guilty to the charges. Thubane is now serving two life sentences. Thokozani Msibi, Knowledge Mhlanga and Brilliant Mkhize pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The three accused are facing eight charges. The incident left the community outraged.

Gabisile Shabane with albinism and her 15-month old cousin, Nkosikhona Ngwenya were abducted in their family house in Hlalanikahle in Emalahleni.

Gruesome details of how the two children were abducted from their home were laid bare by Themba Thubane who pleaded guilty.  Thubane submitted a confession statement pleading for mercy.  It is reported that the suspects wanted a person with albinism to fortify their business, which was struggling.

Thokozani Msibi,  a traditional healer, believed to be the mastermind, advised them to get a person with albinism to perform the necessary rituals.

The plight of those living with albinism

People living with albinism are among the most vulnerable citizens and face human rights violations and threats.

While violence against albinos is more severe north of our borders, there have been kidnapping and murders here too, allegedly for body parts.

The video below outlines the plight of South Africans living with albinism and celebrates their human rights as the country observed International Albinism Awareness Day in 2019: