Police turn to inyangas
Mpumalanga police have asked traditional healers to help them arrest criminals who consult them for muti which they believe can make them invisible to the police.
Barberton police spokesman, Constable Jabulile Ndubane, said murder suspects consulted healers for protection after committing a crime.
"The healers and inyangas know these things. Criminals obviously tell them what they have done. They can be of great help to us in our fight against crime.
"We are very aware that most criminals are running to the healers for protection. They believe the muti will make them invisibleand we are asking the traditional healers to report the suspects as soon as they consult them," said Ndubane.
Ndubane said that when they break into a house, some criminals burn a substance which they get from sangomas. The smoke emitted is said to send the occupants into a deep sleep which leaves the criminals free to ransack the home.
"Criminals once stole a cell phone from under the pillow of a man who was sleeping so deeply because of the smoke," she said.
She said a traditional healer recently called the police when a criminal consulted her for help because police were looking for him.
Ndubane said police had arranged a meeting with local traditional healers about the issue.
A few years ago, a Thulamahashe traffic cop was asleep in his house when criminals, who had apparently burnt the "sleep substance" raided his home.
They removed him from the bed and laid him on the floor before stealing the bed from under him.