Muti kills woman

A 53-YEAR-OLD woman died and her daughter was paralysed from the waist down after drinking a concoction at a muti ceremony ceremony in Ashdown at the weekend.

When The Witness visited the home on Tuesday, the family refused to comment on the matter, or divulge the name of the sangoma.

A neighbour, who asked not to be named, told The Witness that the family had called the sangoma to perform a ceremony to invite their ancestors into their home.

He said the woman who died, along with her adult daughter and son, are relatives of the Ashdown family but stay in Richmond. He said that the ceremony took place at about 3 am on Sunday.

“The sangoma gave them muti and instructed the woman from Richmond and her children to drink it first. After drinking it, the woman started vomiting blood and she died on the spot.

“Her daughter was paralysed from the waist down and was taken to hospital. I don’t think the woman’s son drank the muti because he’s okay,” he said.

The neighbour said the sangoma packed up his things and left the house even before the police arrived.

Another neighbour said community members were fuming after the woman’s death and had even threatened to beat up the family members who had hired the sangoma. “People were asking why the muti was only drunk by the woman from Richmond and her daughter and not everyone.”

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Mthokozisi Ngobese told The Witness that an inquest docket was opened after the incident.

The ward councillor in the area, Dumisani Phungula, said the incident had shocked him and the community at large. “We have never had such an incident in our community, so we are all very shocked by what happened. We hope that investigations by the police and Health Department, as well as the postmortem results, will be able to reveal exactly what happened,” said Phungula.

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