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A 12-year-old boy was forced to watch as his mother was set alight.

A young boy was forced to watch his mother burn alive — because the community believed she was a witch.

A 12-year-old boy has described how he was made to watch his mother drink petrol and then be set alight.

The boy, who is now 15, told the Durban High Court in South Africa that his mother’s killing followed accusations by two locals that she practiced black magic.

A local doctor testified that Ms Ngubane would have suffered insurmountable pain from the assault.

The 48-year-old woman, Thembekile Ngubane, was allegedly pinned down by two men — Thula Dlula, 34, and Mzuyanda Mntabo, 32 — and forced to drink a flammable liquid from a plastic container.

“They first assaulted her, then one [held] her hands while the other made her drink something that was in a five-litre plastic container. I don’t remember the colour [of drink] but I think it was red or green”, Ms Ngubane’s son told the court in Sowetan, African Spotlight reports.

The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he tried to put out the flames that engulfed his mother — but that she sustained such bad injuries that she died a month later.

The Durban High Court heard how a 12 year old boy was forced to watch his mother’s immolation.

He also told the court that once Dlula and Mntabo had set Ms Ngubane alight, the two men stood a short distance away with a mob, singing and shouting that she must die. The community then approached the burning with stones, with one community member assaulting her with a hammer.

A doctor at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, Kelly Holloway, also testified in court Ms Ngubane would have suffered insurmountable pain from the assault.

mother burnt witchcraft
“They first assaulted her, then one [held] her hands while the other made her drink something that was in a five-litre plastic container. I don’t remember the colour [of drink] but I think it was red or green”, Ms Ngubane’s son said. (Photo: iStock)

“‘She never answered when we asked what she had done with the boy’s eyebrows. Our belief was that she had taken a body part, this is similar to witchcraft,” Lethu-kuthula Dlulisa told the Courts, according to IOL.

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Prior to the attack, Ms Ngubane had been asked to leave the area — but a local meeting to decide her fate quickly descended into violence.

Mntabo pleaded not guilty to the murder on Wednesday. The trial continues.

mother burnt witchcraft
A street vendor in Durban sells animals skins,venom,bones and and an extensive range of different tree bark collected from all over Southern Africa. (Photo: iStock)

Belief in witchcraft is well documented in Africa, with so-called ‘witch doctors ‘routinely charged with mutilation and murder within the continent. In South Africa accused ‘witches’ are often tortured, assaulted and murdered due to fear of ‘muti,’ a local word for witchcraft.

In South Africa, witch hunts are largely found in rural communities — and because most witch hunts are directed at women, they have been described as a form of gender-based violence by some experts.

The case is being heard in Durban, in the east of South Africa.

Witchcraft or ‘sorcery’ attacks have also occurred in Tanzania and Papua New Guinea.

Just last month, four people accused of witchcraft were tortured by locals in PNG, while in February an elderly woman was tortured in that country after being accused of being a witch, ABC News reports.

In 2013, a 20-year-old woman died after being beaten, tied up, stripped naked, doused in petrol and set alight on one of the main streets in Mt Hagen, PNG. The woman was targeted by the relatives of a boy who accused her of using black magic to cause his death earlier, according to local reports.

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