A “spiritual healer” drowned in the Olifants River while trying to fulfil his promise to find a 12-year-old boy who had been swept away in the water days before Christmas.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said: “The healer allegedly told the community of the said village that the boy was still alive and that he needed R13,000 to retrieve him from the river. The community allegedly agreed to first give him R10,000, but only after he brought back the child.”
Mojapelo said 30-year-old Mopipi Abraham Phiri entered the water on Friday at around 5pm but never resurfaced and that they presumed he had drowned.
“The police were then called in and the search and rescue team was activated. His body was today (Sunday) recovered when it emerged from the shallow waters on the riverbank, several kilometres from where he got into the water.”
Mojapelo said the search for the 12-year-old boy was continuing.
He added that the human remains a fisherman found in the same river on Sunday, December 29, 2019, was still the subject of a DNA examination.
“The police have opened an inquest docket and investigations are continuing.”
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba visited the scene.