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50 dead after ‘anti-witchcraft rituals’ in African country

The deaths reportedly resulted from ceremonies in Angola earlier this year

At least 50 people have died in Angola after being coerced into drinking a herbal potion to prove they were not practitioners of witchcraft, police reported on Thursday. 

The deaths occurred in the past two months near the town of Camacupa, local councilor Luzia Filemone told national radio, claiming that traditional healers had used a lethal mixture in the procedures. 

“More than 50 victims were forced to drink this mysterious liquid which, according to traditional healers, proves whether or not a person practices witchcraft,” Filemone stated. 

Some rural communities in the southern African country still have a strong belief in black magic.  

“It’s a widespread practice to make people drink the supposed poison because of the belief in witchcraft,” police spokesperson Antonio Hossi said.  

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There are no laws concerning witchcraft practices in Angola. If individuals are suspected of sorcery, they are compelled to consume a poisonous herbal concoction known as ‘Mbulungo’. If they die as a result, it is considered to be proof of their guilt. 

Last month, suspected death-cult leader Paul Mackenzie was arrested for the alleged murder of hundreds of his followers in Kenya. They had committed suicide due to Mackenzie’s preaching that they would encounter Jesus by starving themselves. 

According to authorities, 429 bodies and dozens of graves were found in a remote Shakahola forest area. Autopsies revealed that the majority of victims had died due to starvation, but some, including children, had also allegedly been beaten or strangled. 

March 15, 2024 at 03:41PM
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