Girl dies after exorcism attempt

A teenager in the South African town of Umlazi, accused by relatives of being possessed by demons, was tortured for three days and then brutally murdered.

South Africa’s Daily News reports

Sinethemba Dlamini, 15, was left lying on the lounge floor with her intestines next to her at her home in K-Section.

Five relatives, who allegedly killed the teenager during a bizarre, three-day exorcism, have been charged with murder. […]

Sinethemba lived with a relative after the death of her mother a few years ago.

On Tuesday, the teenager’s aunts, Fundiswa Faku, 29, Lindela Jabulani, 38, her daughters Minenhle Jabulani, 19, a 17-year-old minor, and Nonhlanhla Mdletshe, girlfriend of Sinethemba’s father, 30, appeared on murder charges in the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court.

They were remanded in custody and the matter was adjourned to Monday for a bail application. […]

A police source said the accusation of being demon possessed came after she had become very withdrawn in recent weeks.

Her ordeal began last Wednesday when she returned home from school. She was allegedly repeatedly assaulted with a broom, the source said.

People believed a demon was living in her and kept hitting her all over her body with a broom in an attempt to get the demon to leave her, the source said.

The source said people who prayed for the youngster claimed to be members of a local religious organisation.

At about midnight on Friday, the teenager attempted to escape from the group.

They caught her and allegedly continued to beat her, the source said.

Sinethemba died after her intestines were pulled out through her vagina, the source said.

“The child died almost immediately.

“It was a horrific, brutal death. After the intestines were removed, they allegedly waited for her to wake up and be free of the demon. They claimed that by removing the intestines she would be cured.”

The source claimed the attackers continued to pray and waited for more than three hours for her to wake up.

“At about 3am, when they realised she was dead, one of them contacted the police. Police at the scene were traumatised and shocked. It all seemed so unreal. This was an innocent child who kept to herself…”

Exorcism is a religious procedure during which demons, evil spirits or other spiritual entities are ‘driven’ or ‘cast’ out of a person or place believed to be ‘possessed’ (i.e. under the control of these entities).

The practice occurs in various religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and witchcraft, but also among those who are superstitious.

Many so-called exorcisms result in the death of the person being ‘treated,’ and lead to murder charges for those involved.

Research resources on Exorcism

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday March 16, 2012.
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