Pensioner mines for treasure under shack

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

A dream about buried treasure has led a group of men to a shack in an informal settlement outside Daveyton, on the East Rand, where they believe the hidden riches are to be found.

The men, led by William Sibeko, have been digging for treasure for three weeks.

They paid the owner of the shack built on top of the trove to move his home.

A heap of soil as high as the shack is proof of the men's hard work in search of the treasure.

They have dug so deep that they have to take water out of the pit in buckets.

The owner of the shack, Raela Ndobe, 32, said the men paid her R3000 for permission to dig for treasure in her yard.

"I allowed them to dig because they have been bugging me for months. I informed the police, who said we must reach an agreement.

"The men told me they dreamed of money underground, but I don't know if there is any," she said.

Sibeko and his son Vusi, atraditional healer, insist that a white man came to them in their dreams and tipped them off about the treasure.

The older Sibeko said the white man started visiting him as far back as 1998 and 1999.

In 2000 he managed to convince the owner of the shack on the treasure site to allow him to dig. He reached an area covered with slabs extending for about 80m.

But then he had to take a weekend off to attend a family funeral.

"When I came back the owners of the site had covered the area and told me they didn't want me to continue digging. So I abandoned the mission," he said.

But the white man appeared in his dreams again and told him about buried Kruger Rands and other gold.

The diggers claim that they have to buy their ancestors a bottle of good whisky and make home-brewed beer every once in a while for them.

"If we don't do that, when we dig the dust turns into smoke. One night they told me that they were thirsty and that we must buy them something to drink.

"They were specific about what they wanted," he said.

So, now and then, they would place an unopened bottle of whisky in the hole, as well as the home-brewed beer.

"They drink it," claimed the old man.

Ekurhuleni metro spokesman Zweli Dlamini said: "We can not have a situation where a person exposes other people to danger because of a treasure hunt.

"If push comes to shove, we will have to stop the digging."

Last year the Johannesburg metro clamped down on a grandmother who had hired men to dig for gold in her bedroom in Zola in Soweto.