Sangoma questioned over children's bodies

2011-04-20 15:30

kalahari.com

East London - An Mthatha-based sangoma was being questioned by police after the bodies of two missing children were found on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said.

"We arrested a sangoma today. He was taken in for questioning," said Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela.

Police decided to question him when they found that he had told the parents of the missing 10 and 9-year-old that he could find them for a fee of R7 000 and then showed the parents where their bodies were.

The carers of three other children recently found dead in the area, including the child of a police captain, told the police a similar story during those investigations, Fatyela said.

The two boys disappeared from the Chris Hani suburb on Monday and their parents and a group of people went to look for them, but could not find them, he explained.

The parents consulted the sangoma - an African healer who draws on remedies made from plants, herbs and animal parts for cures and claims to be able to divine insights into problems.

"This morning they were found dumped in a dense place, a forest where there are lots of trees," said Fatyela.

They had been strangled.

"Even from the second one, we thought this man must be very accurate. That is where the community started to be suspicious. Whenever a child is missing, he would claim to know where they are."

Police then decided to take him in for questioning.

"We might arrest him, we might release him," said Fatyela of the 41-year-old man.

One of the five children found dead in recent weeks had been found hanging in a tree, a second was found hidden in long grass and another was found next to a river.

- SAPA

Read more on:    east london
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