News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday July 21st 2017

Sangomas attacked for providing fighting muthi to teenage gangsters

23.04.2012

Sangoma Fane Nkosi bleeds from a wound to the head after being attacked by Khayelitsha residents for allegedly selling muthi to teenage gang members. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

Three sangomas accused of providing muthi to teen gang members in Khayelitsha in order to help them fight, faced the fury of residents after being corralled by taxi bosses this weekend.

The members of the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) in Site C Saturday went in search of three sangomas, believed to be from Swaziland, who allegedly sold muthi to members of the rival Vura and Vato gangs.

The taxi bosses approached the sangomas after receiving a tip-off from residents.

The tip-off came after taxi drivers cornered about 50 school pupils believed to be gang members and confiscated weapons including knifes, pangas and axes, and vials of protective muthi was found around the necks of many of the suspected gang members.

As a result, residents started their investigation, which lead them to the sangomas residence being pointed out.

Taxi owner and leader of the crime prevention campaign James Tafa said when they went to the  sangomas’ house on Saturday they found about eight young women aged 14-16, all of whom had given birth to children.

The young women were taken to the Codeta offices at the Site C taxi rank and their husbands, the sangomas, were called.

Things got tense when the sangomas arrived at the taxi rank, said Tafa.

“Angry parents were shouting, accusing them of killing their children’s future. Their car was smashed by angry people who were at the taxi rank.

“When we called them we only wanted to speak to them and find out why they’re giving these teenage gangs muthi. We wanted to put a stop on it, but when they got here they were shouting, swearing at us and threatening us. We showed them the muthi we got from these gang, that’s when things got out of hand, people were accusing them of coming to South Africa and destroyed children’s future. I had to call the police intervene because people were so angry and aggressive. They started to beat them,” said Tafa

He said the three sangomas were taken to the Khayelitsha police station.

One of the sangomas, Fane Nkosi, denied giving muthi to teenage gang members.

“I will never give a child muthi without speaking to the parents first, it against our culture. My brother called me saying the taxi drivers took our children. We went to site C taxi rank to get our children and found find out why they took them. But when we got there we were beaten. No explanation was given to us.”

Police at Khayelitsha said no case had been opened. – Nombulelo Damba

Tags: Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta), Fane Nkosi, James Tafa, sangomas, Vura and Vato gangs

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