HEALERS ask COPS TO PROTECT THEM

A traditional healer beats a drum during the opening of traditional healers hospital at Jane Furse in Limpopo. PIC: ELIJAR MUSHIANA. CIRCA MARCH, 2010
A traditional healer beats a drum during the opening of traditional healers hospital at Jane Furse in Limpopo. PIC: ELIJAR MUSHIANA. CIRCA MARCH, 2010

TRADITIONAL healers yesterday asked the Mpumalanga government to protect them from people who accuse them of witchcraft and sometimes assault or even kill them.

TRADITIONAL healers yesterday asked the Mpumalanga government to protect them from people who accuse them of witchcraft and sometimes assault or even kill them.

Clad in their red attire, members of the Traditional Healers Organisation told safety and security MEC Sibongile Manana at an imbizo that they want the police to protect them from people who turn against them.

The imbizo was held in Mayflower, next to the Swaziland border.

The healers said when people are angry, they call them witches and attack them.

They complained that the police station was far from where they lived, making it difficult to report cases.

The police station serves 11 villages with a population of 82000.

Stock theft was a serious and leading crime in the area as most people complained that their cattle and goats were being stolen.

The community also told Manana that there was not enough police visibility as officers always complained about lack of vehicles.

Manana said people should not attack traditional healers or any other person, saying that statistics showed about 80percent of the population visited traditional healers.

"Most people go to traditional healers for various needs. They are part of society and we should not accuse or kill them," Manana said.

"If you suspect any wrongdoing by traditional healers, report this to the police and let the law take its course."

She also urged people to brand their livestock so it would be easy to find and for the police to effectively investigate cases of stock theft.

Provincial police commissioner Thulani Ntobela announced that a new police station for Mayflower would be built in the financial year 2011/2012.

Ntobela said though people complained about the police station being far way, there were police stations that had minimum resources though on the doorstep.

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