Plots, Murders, Mutilations and Medicine

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748622849
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652952 | DOI:
Plots, Murders, Mutilations and Medicine

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This chapter describes the process of instigating a murder; choosing a victim; beer-drinks and ambushes; mutilating and killing; disposing of the body; and the making the medicine, all in relation to medicine murder. Information about the instigation and planning of medicine murders comes almost entirely from accomplice witnesses. Many were simply told, either by the chief or by one of his councillors, that the chief had decided to kill a certain person for medicine and that he wanted them to take part. If the intended victim was an adult, the most common plan was to invite them to a feast of some kind, a mokete, to let them get drunk, and then to attack them after they had left. Before the murderers got down to work, there were other precautions to be taken. Blood-stains had to be avoided, and paths that were less likely to be seen are chosen.

Keywords: mokete; ambushes; body mutilation; body disposal; medicine murder; accomplice witnesses

Chapter.  10445 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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