The incident took place in a district known for gold mining—Obuasi in the Ashanti Region. The "wizard" in question is a 17-year-old boy I will not name for ethical reasons even though he is named in the news report. Apparently, he was sitting on top of a tree in a forest when a James Ankrah, 37, opened fire on him with a shotgun, wounding him in both hands and his shoulders.
The only evidence of witchcraft was villager suspicion, no more.
But the facts are that the boy is still in hospital and his assailant is cooling his heels in a police cell awaiting trial for attempted murder.
I wondered: what fate awaits the teenager when he returns to his village? For sure, there will be no welcoming committee to drape a garland of flowers round his neck when he is discharged. Instead he might find a lynch mob, which is not uncommon in this part of the world.
In the same edition, The Spectator regaled readers with another bizarre report of an 11-year-old witch who was exorcised by a prophet from the Ebenezer Healing Church to a small village, also in the Ashanti Region. The prophet also exhumed a "spiritual pot" containing a snake which belonged to the girl. According to the report, she'd used the pot to impoverish the village and to cause the businesses of family members to fail.
Contributed by Gandolf