Police arrest bogus healer

Mhlaba Memela

A phoney traditional healer, accused of defrauding several Newcastle residents by promising to multiply their money, has been arrested.

Police nabbed the healer after two men employed at Studio 88 stole R134000 from their employer.

It is alleged that the men handed the money to the healer with the hope of doubling it.

The police were led to Madadeni township where the traditional healer lives.

At his house the police found bank notes pasted on the walls.

Police spokesman Shooz Magudulela confirmed the arrest of the three men.

"The victims were led to a house where the Kenyan herbalist lived," Magudulela said.

"The victims would hand over the money they wanted multiplied.

"He used methylated spirits and potassium permanganate to create flames and claimed he was communicating with his ancestors."

Magudulela said the healer would then ask the person who wanted him to double his money to hand over the cash to burn.

"He would throw chemicals on a cloth folded like a snake, and the flames would go up the wall.

"It is believed that many people fell prey to his tricks."

A resident told Sowetan that the false healer was always busy, with clients filing in and out of his house.

"Hopeless people came there thinking that their debts would disappear as the healer promised," the resident said.

"People came from as far as Volksrust in Mpumalanga. Some people would run out of the house engulfed in flames because of the chemical used to lure them,"

Meanwhile, the two men arrested with the healer appeared in the local magistrate's court on Monday on charges of theft.

Simo Ngidi, 21, and Zibusele Dennis, 21, were granted R10000 bail each and their case was postponed to September 26.