Traditional healer Xabiso Madiba, who resides in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, speaks to Move! about his unpleasant ordeal with the police, and the difficulties he is faced with as a traditional healer whose livelihood depends on consultations with patients.
On Saturday 11 April, police officers came into his home at 11pm, Xabiso says. “Two policemen came into my house and they asked if I have alcohol. I said I do have alcohol, it’s the alcohol I use for my ceremonies. In response they told me that I shouldn’t have alcohol in my house,” he says.
He also claims the two policemen barged into the house he uses for his consultations and took all the bottles of alcohol, which, according to Xabiso, was seven bottles.
“When I requested to follow them to the police station, they ran into the police van and drove away. I recognised that the van belongs to the Harare police station,” he tells us.
Xabiso says he took down the van’s registration number and went to the Harare police station to open a case, as the alcohol he uses for his ceremonies was wrongfully taken.
“I went to the police station and when I got there, I reported the incident. Fortunately, the gentlemen were known by the other police officers. When I was leaving in the morning I bumped into the two officers as they were entering the station, one of them ran and went into the car while the other said I should go to the Lingelethu [West] police station, also situated in Khayelitsha, to fetch my alcohol,” Xabiso tells us.
The 39 year old adds that he went to Lingelethu West police station but only got back four of his bottles. “I opened a case and they gave me a case number, and I have been waiting for a way forward since,” he claims.
Xabiso has been a traditional healer since 2003 and resigned from his job in 2006 because of the demand for his work as a healer.
He continues to share with us that since the Covid-19 lockdown commenced, he has had to put his business on hold for his safety and the safety of his patients.
“I have had to put my job as a healer on hold for my own safety and safety of my patients and put on hold our gatherings as healers, as the number of people attending intlombe (ritual gathering) could be 200 or more.”
Xabiso says he is struggling financially because his livelihood depends on consultations.
He tells Move! that the ordeal with the police was his first unpleasant experience with SAPS, as he’s never had a problem with the police before and he can’t seem to move past it.
Though the traditional healer faces many challenges, he respects the lockdown regulations as he acknowledges that they are there to protect everyone from Covid-19.