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Traditional healers have vowed to support a municipal worker fired for taking a week off work to be with a sangoma.
The Tshwane municipality fired Mabotse Lamola, 52, for absconding after he spent a week with sangoma Conrad Tsiane in Mpumalanga for treatment of his "spiritual illness".
Tsiane said he performed rites on Lamola for a week and that he was medically unfit to work.
Lamola took a letter written by Tjiane, explaining his absence from work, to his employers, but was told that the letter was not the equivalent of a doctor's note and he was subsequently fired.
Lamola is taking the dispute to the Pretoria high court.
"I have instructed my attorney to file a court case against the municipality for unfair dismissal," he said.
Lamola, from Lefiso village near Marapyane, has worked for the city council for 25 years.
Immanuel Dihomo, a sangoma in Sekhukhune, Limpopo, said: "This is unfair. The man was sick and has proof of that, so how can he be fired?"
Antoinette Mostert, the Tshwane municipal spokesman, said she was on leave and referred Sowetan to Inna de Kock for comment, but her phone went unanswered.