Angry residents kick fake prophet out of the village
A church prophet and his accomplice who allegedly kidnapped a toddler and later demanded R28000 to help her family find her have been chased away from the village.
Police said residents of Schoemansdal in the Nkomazi area chased away members of the Jericho church after accusing them of being prophets of doom.
Constable Nompilo Qwabe said the community decided that all Jericho church members should leave the village, and burnt the church items used for rituals.
"Without hurting them, community members apprehended the church members and took them to their church where they forced them to collect everything including drums, piano and dolls," said Qwabe.
"All church members have been given until tomorrow to vacate Schoemansdal," she said.
The decision to send into forced exile the church members arose from the allegations that the church members were tricksters.
Six men from the church, including a bogus prophet, are accused of kidnapping a three-year-old girl, Lulu Shabalala.
Aaron Sigelela Bulunga, 32, Sibusiso Ngalanga, 19, Mfanzile Gwebu, 38, Sibusiso Khumalo, 19, Veli William Madonsela, 24, and the "prophet" Knowledge Makhubela, 23, were arrested and are out on R2000 bail each.
The six allegedly kidnapped the little girl near her Jeppes Reef home while she was playing with her friends.
A day after the child was reported missing, her neighbours, Gwebu, Ngalanga and Bulunga advised the family to seek help from Makhubela, who lived about 60km away.
She was found safe three days later at a Nelspruit taxi rank.
The " prophet" had led the family to the taxi rank.
The six will appear in court again on November 15.