A court in Nsanje on Friday found Nsanje Hyena Eric Aniva with a case to answer on charges of practicing harmful cultural norms contrary to Section 5 subsections 1 and 2 of the Gender Act of 2013.
Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi told the jam-packed court that the final ruling will be made on November 18.
This means that Aniva will remain in police custody till that date.
After the court ruling, the accused opted to use his right to remain silent on the court’s decision. Aniva, 45, has been denied bail several times since he was arrested on July 25, 2016 following President Peter Mutharika’s directive.
The president ordered the arrest of Aniva after the Nsanje man confessed in a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television interview on July 21 that he defiled more than 100 adolescent girls as part of initiation rites into womanhood and slept with widows in a cleansing ritual.
During the interview with the BBC, Aniva who is HIV positive disclosed that locals used to pay him money to perform the sex rituals.
He added that as a hyena, his main duty is overseeing a coming-of-age ritual in which girls take part in sex over a three-day period after their first menstruation.
Aniva hails from Tosina Village, Traditional Authority Mbenje in Nsanje.