A court in Malawi has convicted 45-year-old Eric Aniva who was found guilty on Friday on two counts after a one-day trial in a packed courtroom in the district of Nsanje.
Before the court ruling, HIV-positive Aniva had confessed to having sex with 104 girls and widows in traditional “sexual cleansing” rituals over the years.
“It is clear … that the state has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was engaging in harmful practices,” the magistrate, Innocent Nebi, said.
“I find you guilty and convict you accordingly,” the magistrate said, adding that sentencing would be on November 22.
Custom in some parts of southern Malawi dictates that a man, known as a “hyena”, is paid to have sex with bereaved widows to exorcise evil spirits and to prevent other deaths from happening.
“I dared to reveal what I have been practising. But my arrest, prosecution and even imprisonment will not stop others from practising a custom which has been in existence for over 100 years,” Aniva said outside court.
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