The boy, who was 13 years old at the time of the attack, had been grazing goats when the three men approached the boy saying they would help him search for a goat he had lost. The boy explained, “they began hitting me, pulling me and I started screaming for help, but nobody showed up, they cut me in the head with a knife and I passed out. They took my pants off, they tied my hands and legs and put mud in my nostrils and mouth, They cut my genitals, they wrapped the organs and put them in a bag and ran away. A lot of blood was coming out of my head and nobody was coming to help me. So I stayed there for 2 days without eating anything and then I crawled to the road”.
The three men left him there to bleed to death. The boy lay in the field for two days, after which time he crawled to the nearest road (thought to be almost 1km away) and was found by the police and taken to the Provincial Hospital of Lichinga.
According to the doctor “the genitals were completely removed, it was a clean cut and they took all the genitals using a big knife, with one cut. This area was completely infected. It must have been someone very well trained or someone who is used to doing this kind of thing. Even a health professional would not be able to make such a clean cut without training”.
Two men have been arrested in connection with this case, they both claim they are innocent despite being identified by the victim. The boy says the men were guards from a kindergarten and he would normally see them when he went grazing the goats. The investigation is ongoing.
In January 2010, the boy was transferred to the Central Hospital of Maputo, where he is receiving medical attention. The Mozambican Human Rights League has been helping the boy with few basic needs such as food, clothes and some emotional support.
It is important to say that several child rights were violated in this short period. When TVM aired the news, they exposed the boy without his permission. They even showed the disturbing images of his wound. The boy also stated in the interview: “I even appeared in TVM and I didn’t like that”.
It seems unimaginable how someone can perform this gruesome act on a person, especially a child. However, in our project we have seen more cases like this one and it is evident that this is a frequent practice in the country, in which the body parts removed from the bodies are used by so called witchdoctors in several treatments allegedly to improve life conditions. The victim even stated: “They sell it to have money and cars, and they get rich”.