13 of mAZUBANE DEAD LAID TO REST
The coffins of the 13 family members, believed to have died from inhaling a deadly herbal concoction, were lined up from the smallest up to the biggest in front of hundreds of bereaved members of the Xolo community at Ezingolweni near Port Shepstone on Saturday.
The family members were buried in a dignified manner, with everything paid for by the department of social development.
Government officials, amakhosi, Hibuscus Coast counsellors and communities from near and far came in numbers and packed the huge tent despite a heavy downpour.
While some expressed anger at the way the family died and cited negligence by unqualified so-called herbalists, others had a different view of how the tragedy happened.
Area chief Inkosi Thobiganda Xolo lashed out at amateur and greedy bogus herbalists in his area.
He said he was not going to hide that "fly-by-night" herbalists and self-appointed priests were taking advantage of the poor in the area.
He said though the cause of the Mazubanes' tragic death had not been established, the incident had encouraged him to stand up and do something about bogus herbalists.
Found dead were a two-week-old baby, four boys aged two to seven, a 17-year-old boy, a 21-year-old man, four women in their 30s and two 55-year-olds
"I am aware of the bogus healers," Thobiganda said. "They are doing it for money and I am personally going to make sure that each traditional healer or pastor conducting any church in my area produces a certificate."
Traditional Healers Organisation national coordinator Phephisile Maseko yesterday told Sowetan that 16-year-old Percy was a qualified and respected healer and herbalist regardless of his age.
Maseko said according to Percy's mentor (Gobela), the Mazubanes' had a problem with evil spirits at home and could not sleep at night.