Forbidden meat sealed his fate

Mthetho Ndoni

Mthetho Ndoni

When Siphiwo Fete attended a traditional feast in Joza, Grahamstown, little did he know it would be his last day on earth.

He choked on a piece of meat from the slaughtered cow and died .

Relatives, friends and neighbours had been invited to the feast to praise their ancestors.

But, according to traditional lore, Fete, 44, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Michael Somniso, a lecturer in Xhosa studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, said that Xhosa beliefs held that when a man choked at another person's house during a traditional feast that person should not have attended the ceremony.

"In other words," said Somniso, "if he doesn't perform ceremonies at his own home he isn't entitled to eat at a feast held at anyone else's home."

Inspector Linda Kadi, of the Grahamstown police, said an inquest docket had been opened.