‘Sangoma’ cons man of R1.2m

Getty Images.

Getty Images.

A Verulam man anxious to rid himself of a skin condition was allegedly conned of R1.2 million rand worth of life savings by a sangoma on Wednesday in KwaZulu-Natal.

The man, a former long-distance driver, paid his retirement lump sum to a traditional healer to help him treat a skin condition that medical doctors had apparently failed to cure, Phoenix Sun reported.

The victim contacted local security company Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) for assistance when he realised he had been tricked.

According to the victim, he was taken to a mud house, where a voice instructed the victim to hand over R2 300 to the sangoma to purchase camel’s milk, an ostrich egg and five Zulu chickens.

On his second visit, the victim was allegedly asked to hand over R65 000 in cash for R22 million in return. “The victim proceeded to the bank and withdrew the cash before handing it over to the sangoma, who kept it in front of the makeshift dwelling for a blessing,” Balram said.

It is believed after a few more visits to the sangoma, the victim was asked for more money for rituals he had to fulfill, one of which included a final ceremony involving lion skins believed to be about R200 000 and only obtainable in Botswana.

Balram said: “The victim started to grow suspicious when he received a call from the sangoma stating that he had made the purchase, however he needed more cash to bribe border authorities to allow him back into the country. At this stage, the victim realised that he had been conned, and his attempts to contact the sangoma had failed. The victim admitted to handing over several smaller amounts of cash to the sangoma to perform other rituals.”

He added RUSA would like to caution the public on getting involved in “get rich quick” schemes, as several people have lost their hard-earned money to fraudulent sangomas and herbalists who promised extravagant wealth.

According to him, over the past few months RUSA has been contacted by several people who had been conned in this manner. One woman handed over R1.1 million rand in cash after she was promised R55 million in return.

– Caxton News Service


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