Muti mystery of sangoma and crocodile in her kraal

Sakhile Mokoena

Sakhile Mokoena

A sangoma found with a dead and mutilated crocodile told police she wanted to use the reptile for muti purposes.

Joyce Nthani, 54, of Edinburgh village in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, was not asked to plead to a charge of possession of an endangered species when she appeared in the Mhala magistrates' court yesterday.

She was granted R600 bail and the case was postponed to June 28 for further investigation.

Police spokesman Robert Makhubele said they received a tip-off that the sangoma had a dead crocodile at her home.

"We went there and found the dead crocodile. She told the police that she wanted to use it to make muti to cure people," Makhubele said.

The crocodile was found in Nthani's cattle kraal with its intestines missing.

The police could not say whether Nthani had trapped the crocodile in the local river or had found it already dead.

It is not known how Nthani was planning to use the crocodile to make the muti.

A there is popular belief is that a crocodile's brain is used to make a "deadly poison".

lLast year Alex Masinga was arrested for poaching a crocodile in the Komati River in Mpumalanga.

He claimed he had fought the crocodile with a panga after it had attacked him when he went to fetch water.

Masinga was later acquitted of poaching because of a lack of evidence.