Murder: 'exorcists' in plea bargain bid

A PASTOR and his deliverance team who allegedly beat a seven-year-old girl to death because they thought she was possessed, could escape a murder conviction should plea negotiations with the state succeed.

Lonwabo Tanda, 31, a pastor at the Humansdorp-based African Gospel Church, appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday alongside church members Mhlabelisi Nodaka, 22, Unathi Norushu, 22, Nteboheleng Thukani, 22, and Busisiwe Thukani, 34, all of KwaNomzamo in Humansdorp.

They were arrested in 2011 for the murder of Mihlali Ngcongco, who died under excruciating circumstances when they allegedly tried to perform an exorcism on her. They are also charged with the neglect, abuse and psychological and emotional trauma of Mihlali.

But the state's initial call for a murder conviction could be set aside if a plea and sentence agreement is reached.

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