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Judicial CP - July 2001

Corpun file 7832 at


The Star, Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 July 2001

Court convicts 'English-speaking baboons'

By Bhekie Matsebula

Hluthi, Swaziland -- Three youths who conducted a reign of terror by plaguing women while wearing baboon skins in a small village have been convicted by a traditional court of further charges.

The boys, aged 12, 15 and 16, had their sentences reserved until Wednesday on an additional seven counts of malicious damage to property.

They carried out the rampage last year on single and married women who lived alone in the Ezikhotheni area. Residents were so terrified by the "English-speaking baboons" that police were called in to shoot them.

Police set an ambush on June 20, nabbing the three youths in their baboon skins.

In court on Wednesday, the boys denied responsibility for damage to windows and doors at seven homesteads and denied they had demanded food and sex from single and widowed women when invading their homes at night. A number of women have deserted their homes since the attacks.

The boys appeared before the same court last week, where they faced nine counts of malicious damage to property. They pleaded not guilty.

Elders in the area became so frightened by the rampaging "baboons" that they reported them to traditional authorities. Leading prophet Smanga Mthalane offered to come to the community's rescue to exorcise the "demons".

The boys might be sentenced to between 30 and 50 lashes next week. -- The Star Foreign Service

Corpun file 7833 at


The Mercury, Durban, South Africa, 11 July 2001

Swaziland's 'talking baboons' are muffled

By Bhekie Matsebula

Hluthi -- The three boys who conducted a reign of terror in a rural community in southern Swaziland by wearing baboon skins and invading homes were sentenced on Wednesday by a traditional court in Hluthi.

A 17-year-old was given the option of a two-year jail sentence or a R400 fine by traditional court president Mahlabayidlele Dlamini at the Hluthi national court.

The other boys, aged 12 and 14, were sentenced to six lashes each.

The English-speaking "baboons" carried out a reign of terror in the Ezikhotheni area, a rural village east of the small town of Nhlangano, for almost a year.

They invaded homes, smashing doors and windows and threatening to rape women.

Widows and women whose husbands worked in South African mines were their usual targets.

The Hluthi police eventually set a trap and arrested the boys.

They denied all seven charges of damage to property. -- Independent Foreign Service

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