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Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Colin Murray and Peter Sanders

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.001.0001
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

Medicine murder involved the cutting of body parts from victims, usually while they were still alive, to be used for the preparation of medicines intended to enhance the power of the perpetrators. A ... More


Narrative and Counter-Narrative: Explaining Medicine Murder

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0004
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

According to G. I. Jones, the ‘primary cause’ of medicine murders was the belief in the efficacy of medicines prepared from human flesh. The ‘secondary causes’ and ‘the reasons why they suddenly ... More


Diagnoses and Resolutions: From Failure to Recrimination to Silence

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0005
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

The narratives explaining medicine murder formed part of the battle for the hearts and minds of ordinary Basotho which engaged colonial officials, missionaries, chiefs and nationalist politicians. ... More


Medicine Murder: Belief and Incidence

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0002
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

The belief that medicine derived from human parts could be used to increase someone's social power is fundamental to an understanding of the conspiracies investigated here. The first part of this ... More


Murderers and their Motives

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0006
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

Who instigated medicine murders? What did they want to achieve, and why? Who were drawn in as accomplices? Were they driven by loyalty or fear? In considering these questions, this chapter looks at ... More


Conclusion

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0021
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

This chapter identifies and rejects varieties of conspiracy theory. It summarises views on the incidence of medicine murder and argues that a significant increase in the 1940s is most plausibly ... More


Medicine Murder: The Debates of the Late 1940s

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0003
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

This chapter outlines the ebb and flow of often agonised debate about the causes of the apparently ‘startling increase’ in medicine murder in the late 1940s. It considers chiefs, politicians and ... More


Introduction

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0022
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

Medicine murders continued after Basutoland became the independent state of Lesotho in 1966. With about 500 ordinary murders a year in a population of approximately two million people in the ... More


Plots, Murders, Mutilations and Medicine

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0007
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

This chapter describes the process of instigating a murder; choosing a victim; beer-drinks and ambushes; mutilating and killing; disposing of the body; and the making the medicine, all in relation to ... More


The Judicial Process

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0009
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

The judicial process began with the preparatory examination, which was usually held in the small courtroom attached to the District Commissioner's office in the headquarters of the district in which ... More


Police Investigations

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0008
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

This chapter describes the police investigations on medicine murders. It considers the search for the body; the post-mortem examination; police enquiries; and the movement of police against the ... More


Basutoland: ‘A Very Prickly Hedgehog’

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0001
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

Throughout the period considered in this book, the arguments about medicine murder reflected political tensions between the British colonial administration and the Basotho chieftainship on the one ... More


Aftermath

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748622849
eISBN:
9780748652952
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0020
Subject:
Society and Culture, African Studies

After half a century, the wounds inflicted by medicine murder are still raw. There is still bitterness and hatred between the families of murderers, or alleged murderers, and the families of their ... More


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