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NUM Press Statement, 05 March 2018
NUM Highveld Women Structure strongly condemns the killings or ritual murders of people living with albinism
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Highveld Women Structure strongly condemns the ritual murders of people living with albinism in Mpumalanga. Two children, one of them an albino were kidnapped from their home in Hlalanikahle in eMalahleni in Mpumalanga last month and later found murdered.
The NUM Highveld Women Structure will be at Emalahleni Magistrate Court (06 March 2018) tomorrow to make sure that the alleged suspects who killed the two children are not granted bail.
Gabisile Shabane, a 14-year-old girl with albinism, and a 15-month-old boy Nkosikhona Ngwenya were kidnapped from their home in Hlalanikahle on January 28, allegedly by three men who entered their home after breaking a window.
Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetic condition present at birth that results in absence of pigmentation in the eyes, skin, and hair.
Erroneous beliefs and superstitions have put the safety and lives of people with albinism at risk, including from killings, abductions, and mutilations. Societal attitudes about albinism are not changing, and people with albinism continue to be at risk of attacks with some children being abducted and killed.
"The NUM Highveld Women Structure continues to condemn the violation and abuse of women and children. We believe that all people living with albinism condition still have the right to live. The NUM Highveld Women Structure will be outside court tomorrow to make sure that the alleged suspects are not granted bail when they appear in court. We urge all NUM women members to avail themselves in the Emalahleni Magistrate Court to support and paint the streets red with our NUM t-shirts," said Busisiwe Matizerd, NUM Highveld Women Structure Chairperson.
The NUM Highveld Women Structure is calling on the government of South Africa to protect people with albinism from attacks and bring the perpetrators of albinism-related crimes to justice.
Thousands of people with albinism live in constant fear of being abducted or killed in Africa, where their body parts are being sold for use in ritual activities. Ritual killings of people with albinism are influenced by superstitions and myths that their bones or body parts can bring riches.
For more information, please contact:
Busisiwe Matizerd: NUM Highveld Women Structure Chairperson: 082 520 3464
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