Someone using muthi against me - businesswoman

Johannesburg – A businesswoman claims someone is using "muthi" to try and get their hands on her R5.5m mansion in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal.

Madelaine van Rooyen has put her house up for sale and moved to Cape Town, claiming that several turd-shaped objects buried in her garden had been making her, her son, and her dogs ill.

She says she has a strong suspicion about who it was, but would not name the person.

“He’s trying to stop me from selling my house. He wants to tie my money so that I will lose my house,” Van Rooyen said on Monday.

She said her four-bedroom 500m² home, on a 1 300m² property, has been on the market for a year. It is furnished, in immaculate condition and has open sea views.

“Those jealous idiots think they can get it for nothing,” she says.

She said four lots of muthi had been found in her garden in recent months.

The person responsible had been climbing over the wall and burying the muthi in her front and back garden, she claimed.

'It's been going on for years'

And because the culprit set off the alarm he only had enough time to bury his goods under a bit of sand before the security company arrived.

“It’s been going on for years. My son and I got sick, and my dogs. Things didn’t go so well, so we moved.”

She had lived in the house for 11 years, running a business supplying truck drivers.

She had got a healer to help her, who brought a Zionist priest to get rid of it. She was adamant the muthi had been having a negative influence on her life.

“I believe in alternative healing. If you can work on people’s energy fields, you can influence them,” she says.

The muthi, several packets tied up with string and caked in mud, contained bits of glass, coins and even a bullet.

Van Rooyen said the bullet was a threat to kill her, the glass meant that people would look at her house but not buy it, and the coin was intended to “dry up your money”.

“The string is to tie me to the house so that none of us can move forward,” she said.

'He’s not fazed by all that nonsense'

Currently an induna, a man called Phineas, was living in the house and looking after it for her.

“He’s not scared of the muthi. He’s not a normal Zulu. He’s not fazed by all that nonsense,” she said.

The man who Van Rooyen asked to help her described himself as “a healer who helps people”.

He arranged for a Zionist priest to find the muthi by using his “spiritual light” and then destroyed it by burning it. The healer did not want to be named for fear of reprisal.

“When you expose something like this you’re opening yourself up to being attacked by negative forces.”

“We are in Africa and that’s how the Africans do it,” he said when asked if he believed muthi worked.

He said it was a “real African thing” and “scary shit”.

'Lower world stuff'

Muthi, he said, could contain things like blood, animal faeces, pig and dog sperm, which he said was “lower world stuff”.

Sheila Khama, a sangoma News24 spoke to, said muthi was not only used by, or something that affected, black people.

“White people care about this. I’ve got lots of white clients,” she said.

She is a commissioner for the CRL Rights Commission and trains sangomas.

“All nations are doing this, whites, Muslims,” she added.

The parcels found in Van Rooyen’s garden were called umeqo, a kind of spell, a combination of plants and processes rolled into one.

“It’s like a hex.”

The person who planted it there would likely have worn some kind of protection and cleansed themselves afterwards to avoid the negative effects of it.

It would often be planted near the entrances or exits of a property or house so that a person would have to cross over it for the energies in the parcels to do their work.

She said the use of coins in muthi was not indigenous to African tradition. Cowrie shells were used as currency before Europeans introduced coins. The coins secured by string were meant to cause the subject of the hex frustration in money matters, to “tie up” their money.

The piece of glass was meant to “cut” the person.

Khama advised Van Rooyen to take the parcels away from the property, burn them, mix the ash with a medicine to make something called umbola.

This needed to be thrown into a flowing stream, the house and garden would need to be cleansed and Van Rooyen would have to make sure she maintained a positive mental state. She could also plant protective plants like fennel or a certain type of Aloe near the entrances of the house.

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