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Youths Convicted Of Killing Woman They Thought Was A Witch

October 29, 1987

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Five black teen-agers were convicted of burning to death an elderly woman they suspected of being a witch, a news agency reported.

According to court records, the youths threw gasoline bombs into Johanna Ncube’s house on Feb. 17, 1986, then set her alight when she fled the house, the independent South African Press Association reported Wednesday.

The teen-agers were from the Johannesburg township of Alexandra, the agency said, citing court documents.

The report did not give Ms. Ncube’s age or say why the teen-agers thought she was a witch.

The youths said they had been assaulted by police and forced to make confessions, but the Rand Supreme Court rejected their claims, the agency said.

A sixth youth was convicted of public violence, it added.

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