'Child goes to Africa in the night to do bad things'

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The Independent Online

One of the abusers of the 10-year-old girl tortured for being a "witch" still believes the child was possessed and has accused her of lying in court.

One of the abusers of the 10-year-old girl tortured for being a "witch" still believes the child was possessed and has accused her of lying in court.

Sita Kisanga, 38, who was convicted at the Old Bailey of aiding and abetting child cruelty, said she had tried to stop the girl's aunt from beating her.

In an interview with Angus Stickler on Radio 4's Today programme, being broadcast this morning, Kisanga describes how she first became aware of the abuse. "I saw her auntie beating her with a belt. I was really surprised and I say: 'What is the problem?' And she said to me: 'Sita, this child is talking about serious things. Things related to witchcraft.' She started to explain that the girl goes to Africa in the night time to do bad things."

"She was beating her like that because she believes in witchcraft - kindoki - she really deeply believed in it."

Kisanga says she told her to stop but that "she carried on beating the child when I was out at college. I didn't know she was beating her."

Kisanga also rubbished the girl's evidence in court that she had hit her with a shoe, whipped her with a belt, slapped, punched and starved her. "I never did such things to her," she says. "I didn't take part - I'm a mother - I've got a child."

She also describes how the girl's aunt had put her in a laundry bag and was about to take her to a river and drown her until Kisanga and her brother intervened.