Sangoma and patient drown during ritual

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POLICE in Meloding near Virginia are investigating an incident where a 27-year-old sangoma,Picture: Getty Images

POLICE in Meloding near Virginia are investigating an incident where a 27-year-old sangoma and his patient drowned during a ritual ceremony on Friday evening.

The search for their bodies was conducted on Saturday between 8am and 10am during which they were found by police divers at Sand River, better known as Tikwe.

Police spokesperson Capt Malebo Khosana said it was reported that a group of people from Thabong township went to the river where a traditional healing related ritual was to be performed in the river. He said seven people reportedly walked into the river for the ritual. “While the ritual ceremony was under way, three people got into trouble. “One of the three was rescued but the sangoma and his patient drowned,” Khosana said.

He said police divers searched for the two bodies. The body of an 18-year-old man was found not far from where they got into trouble while the body of the healer was found metres away, floating on top of the water. They were certified dead on the scene and taken to Welkom state mortuary.

The Virginia acting station commander Lt-Col Thabo Coobi has issued a stern warning to members of the public to be aware of the dangers of rivers. “The most important rule of water is that everyone should respect water and the surrounding environments. “People should refrain from using the river if they cannot swim, especially if there is no one who can act as a lifesaver,” Coobi said.

-BECKER SEMELA|beckers@thenewage.co.za

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