A village mob in South Africa, accused of burning a pastor to death for using an invisible magic penis to sleep with women in the community, now believe they have been cursed by the dead man's family.
Earlier this year, 12 people from a shantytown near Malalane, South Africa, were charged with murder and arson for setting Pastor Albert Malwane of the Izwi Zion Christian Church on fire and burning down his house, the African Eye News Service reports.
Community members had accused the pastor of talking to animals and using an invisible penis to sleep with women in the area. They also accused his wife of turning into a snail and terrorizing the community.
One of villagers charged in Malwane's death, Sunnyboy Mthalala, died in May after vomiting blood and complaining of swollen feet, according to the news service.
Now, the 11 remaining accused — nine men and three women, between the ages of 28 and 50 — believe the pastor’s family used “muti,” or traditional medicine, to place a curse on those charged in his death and make them fall ill.
Pastor Malwane’s father “confirmed that a curse was released at the pastor’s funeral to haunt his son's killers,” the African Eye News Service says.
The villagers were arrested in February after the pastor was dragged from his one-room shack, taken to a hill and set on fire. His house was burned down, and his wife and daughter were forced into hiding.
Last week the case was postponed again in a South African court. The 11 accused are currently out on bail of R1,000, or about $140, and are scheduled to appear in court again at the end of September.
In some poor, rural South African communities, superstitious beliefs can lead to the brutal killings of people accused of "witchcraft"
In another such case last week, in the Eastern Cape, an elderly woman and her two children were shot and hacked to death by a group of men who suspected them of witchcraft.
Earlier this year in South Africa's Limpopo province, two women were killed by villagers who accused them of being witches. The women were dragged from their homes and stoned to death, before their bodies were dragged back into a house, which was then set on fire.