A man claiming to be a traditional healer has allegedly scammed residents in Zithobeni extension 3 in Bronkhorstspruit out of R12,000 by saying he could find a missing child.
Lesley Malibongwe, a five-year-old child was last seen on 9 May. According to Missing Children South Africa on Facebook, the child is deaf and unable to speak.
The Rekord reports that while the man had initially demanded R15,000, the community could only raise R12,000 through a door-to-door campaign.
After receiving the money on Saturday, the “traditional healer” had still not found the child.
Community member Kgaugelo Phiri told Rekord the man only offered “conspiracy theories” and “beat about the bush and started playing victim” before disappearing into thin air with the money.
The community opened a case with the local police.
“His mother is said not to be doing well and is suffering from a heart condition. All we are trying to do is find the child,” Phiri was quoted as saying.
Missing Children South Africa has urged anyone with more information to content the group or the Tshwana East FCS Unit.
Community members have also taken to social media to spread information on the missing child in search for help.
In a separate incident in the Dubai informal settlement in Pretoria, a self-proclaimed sangoma was arrested after the body of a woman was found in October last year.
According to Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, a relative of the deceased reported her missing on 3 October 2020 and an immediate search was activated by the police.
“It is alleged that at the time of her disappearance, the deceased went outside her house responding to a telephone call from her 39-year-old boyfriend. This would be the last time the deceased was seen,” said Peters.
“The preliminary investigation found that the last person possibly in contact with the deceased was the boyfriend, albeit telephonically. This led to the arrest of the suspect on Saturday 10 October 2020.”
Further investigation led police to Dubai informal settlement, where the remains of the missing woman were found. The burnt body was mutilated and the hands and feet were removed.
The “sangoma” was arrested for his suspected involvement in the murder. Investigations suggest the motive for the killing was muti related.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde