Book

Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

Colin Murray and Peter Sanders

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748622849
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652952 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.001.0001
Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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Medicine murder involved the cutting of body parts from victims, usually while they were still alive, to be used for the preparation of medicines intended to enhance the power of the perpetrators. A startling increase in cases of medicine murder apparently took place in Basutoland (now Lesotho), in southern Africa, in the late 1940s and the early 1950s. It gave rise to a dramatic crisis of late colonial rule. Was this increase a real one? If so, why did it happen? How far does it explain the crisis? What other factors contributed? This book offers some comprehensive answers to these difficult, complex and controversial questions and a highly readable analysis of how the crisis arose and of how it fell away. The chapters draw sensitively and critically on many different and often conflicting sources of evidence.

Keywords: medicine murder; Lesotho; Basutoland; medicines; body parts; southern Africa; colonial rule

Book.  494 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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Basutoland: ‘A Very Prickly Hedgehog’ in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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Medicine Murder: Belief and Incidence in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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Murderers and their Motives in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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Plots, Murders, Mutilations and Medicine in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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Police Investigations in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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The Judicial Process in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

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