From: IOL News
An Umzimkhulu man accused of massacring his relatives – allegedly because he believed they were involved in witchcraft – has pleaded not guilty and says he was at work at the time of the mass murder.
Msimbithi Chiya appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday charged with six counts of murder and eight of attempted murder.
The State alleges that Chiya, 35, and two relatives, Malibongwe Chiya and Sifiso Sibanda, planned to kill several elderly members of their family, believing that they were practising witchcraft and bewitching them. It is alleged that on the night of June 7, 2006, they stormed the women’s homes and shot them and other relatives as they slept.
Ntulikazi Chiya, 78, Prisca Chiya, 79, Florah Chiya, 71, Angelina Sibandu, 86, Nomfundlela Ngubane, 42, and three-year-old Kwande Chiya, were killed.
Eight others, including five children, were hit by the hail of bullets and seriously injured.