Potions and physics don’t mix

2013-02-08 00:00

MAGIC? No, just science.

Herbalists who use potassium permanganate and glycerine to perform “magic” for their clients may unwittingly have caused a fire in Langalibalele Street yesterday.

It is believed that herbalists use both chemicals when clients consult them.

The offices were deserted when the fire broke out.

At the scene of the fire, bones, tiny pieces of wood and bottles were found with the potassium permanganate and glycerine.

Msunduzi fire investigator Rodney Trenam, who was at the scene, said the two chemicals ignite spontaneously when mixed.

“That’s how the magic works,” Trenam added.

It is believed that the herbalists use this trick to create “magic” to trick their clients.

In one of the consultation rooms, there was a hole in the wall covered in red cloth.

According to sources, when one herbalist is busy with a client, another hides behind a curtain and pretends to be the client’s ancestor.

“You’ll find that while you’re telling a healer your problems, the one behind the curtain hears everything you’re saying. Suddenly, there’s this voice coming from nowhere because you can’t see him,” one source said.

“These people are truly tricking their clients.”

Another woman, who did not want to be named, owns a business in the same office block.

She said the healers were popular.

There were young girls going in and out the offices, she added.

“Beautiful young girls come here. I’m thinking that they want love potions.”

The other tenants said they were no longer safe and that the toilets were always dirty.

“You go to the toilet, there’s muthi everywhere,” said one tenant.

Tenants said there was a snake in one office a few days ago.

“They’re just making easy money,” another said.

A poster in the herbalists’ office promises to “bring back lost lovers, quick marriages and stop love from cheating on you”.

The herbalist, who calls himself Professor Y. Musah, “The Great Healer”, said he was not present when the fire started.

“I didn’t leave anything burning. We’re always careful,” he told The Witness.

Trenam said the fire could have spread if the windows had been open.

The fire appeared not to cause too much damage in the block. Occupants said there was a lot of smoke.

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