A BRITISH couple who were kidnapped in South Africa had their bodies dismembered and the bloodied parts sold to a witch doctor, it has been claimed.

Devoted pensioners Tony and Gillian Dinnis were attacked and abducted last August allegedly by three gunmen at their remote farm in Middlerus in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Gillian and Tony Dinnis allegedly had their bodies dismembered in a brutal killing


Gillian and Tony Dinnis allegedly had their bodies dismembered in a brutal killingCredit: Kevin Taylor
The couple was allgedly kidnapped from their farm in Middlerus


The couple was allgedly kidnapped from their farm in MiddlerusCredit: X/Twitter
Gillian and Tony, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, were married for 54 years


Gillian and Tony, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, were married for 54 yearsCredit: Jamie Pyatt News Ltd

Two men were arrested in September last year and later released pending further investigations.

One of them – 22-year-old Lungelo Mkhize – confessed that Tony, 73, and wife Gillian, 78, were brutally butchered.

Mkhize allegedly worked on the Dinnis farm for two years before he found a job in Mooi River as a security guard.

The 22-year-old was rearrested this March facing two counts of kidnapping and one of extortion.

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At a hearing later that month, the State opposed bail on the grounds that the couple’s bodies and cellphones were still missing, as well as a confession by a second suspect.

In an affidavit submitted in court by Detective Warrant Officer Johannes De Lange, the second suspect, who was employed by the couple at the time of their disappearance, allegedly admitted to the police that he was one of three men involved in the kidnapping.

De Lange told the court: “He [the second suspect] also indicated that they went to the Dinnis residence and took a brush cutter, chainsaw and a TV.

“He revealed that the other two men were armed with firearms.

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“Thereafter, they left with the couple and went to another residence, where they murdered the couple.”

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The Dinnis' daughter Kate, 52, said terrifying thoughts of her parents' murder keep her awake at night


The Dinnis’ daughter Kate, 52, said terrifying thoughts of her parents’ murder keep her awake at nightCredit: Property 24

According to the second suspect, the gang allegedly cut off the body parts and travelled five hours to Johannesburg to find a witch doctor to sell the bloodied bits for cash.

It is understood the Dillis’ body parts were allegedly sold for £2,175 (R50,000), the court heard.

Following the gruesome confession Mkhize was remanded in custody.

But he was then released last Friday when charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence, The Citizen reports.

Mkhize had previously admitted he had been involved in “taking two white folks” and the other suspect is said to have admitted he had stolen goods from the farm.

There is no information about the third person involved.

Details of the horrific crime were kept largely under wraps as the distraught family of the Kent couple agreed to remain silent during the police investigation.

But now with no prospect of the evil killers being brought to justice their daughter Kate Anderson, 52, has said she now fears a cover up.

The property agent revealed she remains awake at night with terrifying thoughts that one of her parents may have witnessed the other being tortured to death for body parts.

She told Rapport newspaper: “My parents were slaughtered.  They were old, defenceless and only had each other.  Who does something like this to people?  They have both just gone.

“It is as if strange beings took them there is no sign of them.

“The police used horses, motorcycles and dogs to comb the mountains and woods and a BBQ pit and their vegetable garden were dug up and the local dam was also searched.

“Apparently they could not get good fingerprints from the house.  I kept asking the police to allocate more resources and asked for my mum’s phone to be tracked to try and find her.

“They said they had only one grabber device and it was being used in another case.”

What is muti?

“MUTI” is a term used in Southern Africa to refer to traditional medicine or remedies prepared by healers, often called “sangomas” or “nyangas.”

The word “muti” is derived from the Zulu word “umuthi,” which means “tree” or “plant,” reflecting the herbal nature of many of these remedies.

These remedies are used for various purposes, including healing physical illnesses, spiritual protection, and other rituals.

While many forms of muti are traditional and respected parts of local culture, there are also controversies, especially when practices involve the use of endangered species or human body parts.

The controversy surrounding muti primarily arises from certain practices within traditional medicine that can be harmful, unethical, or illegal.

The most serious and controversial aspect involves the use of human body parts, which can be linked to grave crimes such as murder and grave robbery.

In rare but extreme cases, people, including children, have been harmed or killed for their body parts to be used in muti.

Many of these practices are illegal under national and international laws.

The use of body parts, whether human or from endangered animals, often involves criminal activities, leading to legal and ethical issues.

While many view traditional medicine as an essential part of cultural heritage and identity, the controversial practices associated with muti can lead to cultural stigmatisation and tension between traditional beliefs and modern ethical standards.

Daughter Kate said she has read the harrowing statement from the suspect who claimed that her parent’s bodies were chopped up and sold to a sangoma (witch doctor) for cash.

She told Rapport: “If so my question is where is the sangoma?.  Is there a massive cover up?  Perhaps because the police are from the same area they are afraid by the muti claims?

“It just feels to me that everything has been messed up.  I have sent many emails to the police and others beseeching them not to abandon the investigation and get justice”.

Kate also said she had been told the suspect claimed he had been beaten into a confession.

She continued: “I have spoken to the rest of my family who are all extremely private and we are devastated and hurt by what has happened to us all.

“They have said outright they will not speak to you or anyone for that matter.  Protecting my family comes first so I’m not going to work with you but thanks for reaching out to me”.

Tony and Gillian from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, were married for 54 years.

After putting their four children through a UK education, they emigrated over 30 years ago with them to South Africa.

After the kids grew up and left home the Dinnis’s settled into a quiet life growing vegetables and rearing chickens.

But last August, their landlord and neighbour Kevin Foster, 59, noticed he had not seen them for several days and became alarmed.

Mr Foster said he had seen no sign of the couple for three days and got no answer at the door.

He then broke in and found their five dogs and three cats inside and nothing stolen.

My parents were slaughtered. They were old, defenceless and only had each other. 

Kate AndersonTony and Gillian Dinnis’ daughter

Gillian’s walking frame – without which she cannot get about – was still in the living room.

The couple’s Land Rover was still outside and neither of them were answering their phones.

Mr Foster said: “Their five dogs were inside barking but when there was no sign of them the next day I knew something was wrong and got a neighbour and we forced our way inside.

“We found the doors and gates had been locked and released the dogs and the three cats but there was no sign of real disturbance inside but Gill’s walking stick was still there.

“She never goes anywhere without it as she has difficulty walking and that rang alarm bells as well as the fact the dogs and the three cats had been shut in rooms for so long.

“Neither Tony nor Gill go out very often and my wife Sue or I fetch what they need from the shops for food but they are still active and grow some great vegetables in the garden.”

Mr Foster called the cops on August 27 and a frantic search began for them but no trace of the couple has ever been found.


Several days later, the Dinnis’ eldest son Sam, 42, received a threatening WhatsApp text from his mother’s phone demanding a £85,000 (R2million) ransom to be paid into her bank account.

Kate was sent the same message also in Zulu which read: “To make things easy just pay R2m into this bank account number if you want to see your parents again”.

Source: Sun

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