Woman sends cops on wild goose chase

Kamva Mokoena

A normal morning turned into a hive of activity at Mount Ayliff police station.

This was after a frantic woman barged into the station and reported that she had seen 30 bodies hanging in a nearby forest.

The alert on Wednesday brought on increased activity at the Eastern Cape station with officers summoning all available resources and back-up to launch a massive search for the bodies.

They called for back-up from Mthatha and Ntabankulu police stations, and a security company was called in to beef up the search party.

The "traumatised" woman cried continuously while the search party swelled in numbers at the police station before she led the large police convoy into Insizwa Plantation.

Mount Ayliff villagers could not believe their eyes when a convoy of mainly 4X4 vans drove at high speed to surround the forest. The exercise took the whole day.

Police said the woman then led them to another forest. It turned out that the police had fallen for the "hallucination" of a woman suspected of being mentally ill.

"Only later did we realise that the woman was mentally disturbed," said police spokesman Mlungisi Mathidane.

He said the "mentally ill" woman will not be charged.