Alexandra sangoma bedridden after mother allegedly burnt her with hot water

Sibongile Fredericks. (PHOTO: Supplied to Drum)
Sibongile Fredericks. (PHOTO: Supplied to Drum)

Mother-of-two Sibongile Fredericks has opened a case of grievous bodily harm against her mother.

The 29-year-old claims her mom poured a pot of hot water on her legs and private parts.

Sibongile is bedridden at home in Alexandra and recovering from second-degree burns on both her legs and her private parts.

Sibongile says she and her mother, Ntombizodwa Mlalandle (62), stopped seeing eye to eye when her father passed away in 2008.

 “When my father died, she turned into this evil woman,” Sibongile tells DRUM.

“And I often doubted whether she was my biological mother.”

Sibongile says Ntombizodwa would often deprive her and her younger sister of food and she kicked her out of the house when she became pregnant with her first child in 2010.

“My baby daddy hadn’t paid for my lobola and hadn’t paid damages for the kids, but she was happy to let me go, as long as I wasn’t her responsibility,” Sibongile says. “She refused to buy me and my sister toiletries when I was on my period, she would insist that we ask our boyfriends for money. As a result, we started dating older men for money,” she says.

Things became worse when Sibongile found out that she had a calling.

“My calling made things worse for me,” she says.

“My ancestors needed me to move back home after coming back from ukuthwasa (initiation) because I could not consult people in unfamiliar territory to them,” she says.

But she says her mother made life a nightmare for her. “She would swear, tell us to go find men who will take care of us because we are a burden. But I can’t find work because my calling requires that I become a full-time sangoma. I tried to get a job, but my calling needed me present and working as a sangoma full-time,” she says.

Sibongile says it was around 6am on a Saturday morning when she was burnt while was hanging up the laundry. She felt a burn on her legs and private parts. “I felt a painful burn on my legs and then saw that woman run to the gate. When I realised she had burnt me I was in shock. I slipped and fell on top of the hot water, making the burn worse,” Sibongile claims. “I know she hated me, but I didn’t realise how much she hated me. And this came from nowhere. We were not fighting; in fact we don’t speak. I only go to the house when I have consultations with clients and I leave, or I go to do my laundry and leave,” she says.Ntombizodwa denies dousing her daughter with piping-hot water. “She is talking nonsense. She burnt herself,” she tells DRUM.“The pot fell on her while she was swearing and calling me all sorts of names.“Anyway, why would I have a problem with her being a sangoma? She is an adult with two children and she can do as she pleases. But not under my roof,” she adds.

Ntombizodwa says that on the morning of the incident, Sibongile had come home upset and started cursing her for being a “bad mom”, she says. “She called me all sorts of names, she punched me in the face and fought with me. During the scuffle, the pot of water fell on her legs,” she claims.“I can’t pour water on my own child.” Ntombizodwa says she then ran to the gate to flee from her angry daughter when Sibongile thought it was her who had poured the water on her legs.“But this thing is deeper than what it sounds. Sibongile hates me and she insists that I am not her mother,” she says.

“Sibongile has brought media into my home and got Bishop I Makamu to intervene and help to take a DNA test to see whether she is my daughter or not. She must go ahead.”

After being discharged from hospital, Sibongile opened a case at Alexandra Police Station. “They police call it grievous bodily harm but I want it changed to attempted murder because I could have almost died,” Sibongile says.

Constable Faranani Netsilwane of Alexandra Police Station confirms that a case was opened at the station and the matter is under investigation. “Sibongile’s mother was arrested and asked to give a statement. She was then released due to medical reasons,” he says. “The next court date is on the 24th of October.”


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24