Slain sangoma Hoyana’s ‘cousin’ Themba Rumbu accused of being a scam artist

Slain sangoma Hoyana’s ‘cousin’ Themba Rumbu accused of being a scam artist

Themba Rumbu. Picture: Twitter (@ThembaRumbu)

The Twitter user has allegedly lied about numerous charity projects, and his relation to the victim of the disturbing killing has been called into question.

The disturbing case of a white farmer in East London who allegedly killed a black traditional healer and kidnapped his children before being shot dead himself by police has been reported on by several news publications, including The Citizen.

Many, however, have been informed of this incident by Twitter user Themba Rumbu, who described the alleged murder as a “white racist farmer and gun lover Fritz Joubert” and his victim as “my cousin Anele Hoyana”.

“May the world know that white farmers are the ones killing black people,” he added, before apologising to his family “that we were born black”, in a tweet featuring pictures of the alleged perpetrator and victim, which has been shared over 8,000 times at the time of publication, with those who have retweeted it including Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and Power FM journalist Aldrin Sampear, who also interviewed Rumbu on his show.

Rumbu also shared disturbing videos of the aftermath of the incident – three videos exist, two of which appear to have been filmed by Joubert himself while the third appears to have been filmed by a third party – but Rumbu later deleted these.

An outcry has followed Rumbu’s involvement, with “Themba” trending on Twitter following several users alleging that he was not, in fact, related to Hoyana.

The late traditional healer’s brother Olwethu Hoyana has since come forward on social media to say that he does not know Rumba, adding that the “family would like space to grieve”.

He added in another tweet that Rumba is believed to be requesting donations for Hoyana’s burial, calling on people not to send him money.

Sampear told The Citizen that he will be interviewing the brother on his Power FM show on Thursday as a way of apologising to the family for the Rumbu interview.

READ MORE: More horrifying stories of Fritz Joubert emerge

Rumbu has responded to this on Twitter by saying the deceased was related to his sister and apologising for posting about her, saying it was not his place to do so.

A user also posted a screenshot of a tweet attributed to Rumba, but which cannot be found, with possible explanations for this being that it was deleted or it is fake.

The tweet reads: “Anele Hoyana is a distant cousin I removed the videos [of] as I felt [they] were sensitive (sic). I read the story on the newspaper in the early hours when my niece posted it on Insta [and] was sent the videos by my sister who had received them from a Joburg relative. I am not have met the deceased!”.

Since the controversy surrounding Rumbu’s connection to Hoyana, several social media users have come forward accusing Rumbu of scamming them.

These include Kopano Mokoena, who told her story of an alleged scam by Rumbu in detail on her Twitter feed (@JustKatlee).

Mokoena told The Citizen she believed she was scammed out of R500 after depositing money that was meant to be for a poor family in Pietermaritzburg who was living in a mud hut.

According to her, while Rumbu initially acted like he was on the ground and personally involved with the family, she later discovered that the information about the poor family had been shared by others on Facebook prior to Rumbu’s post about it.

Rumbu said the campaign was affiliated with lawyer Tumi Sole’s social justice and charity project Country Duty, but Sole later said the account details given by Rumbu were not affiliated to a Country Duty bank account.

Sole responded to questions on whether or not he knew Rumbu only by sharing with The Citizen his tweet clarifying that Rumbu’s fundraising was not in fact connected to Country Duty.

Sole tweeted that the campaign was a Themba Rumbu initiative rather than a Country Duty project.

“We appreciate the generosity of South Africans who are trying to assist the family but they must verify with the organisers before making any financial contributions,” he said.

Since The Citizen began working on this story, another alleged scam has been brought up on Twitter.

READ MORE: Farmer who killed traditional healer and held his children hostage shot dead

“A few months ago, you started a GoFundMe account for some Gogo who [lived] in a very bad conditional house. The fund account accumulated close to 70k. Excluding donations of materials such cement, etc,” tweeted one user, who then asked to see the house.

Rumbu responded with a picture of a house, but the Twitter user responded: “Firstly you could have stolen this picture somewhere else like the rest [of] your content. Secondly, this was not the design of the house you posted on your Twitter and WhatsApp stories.”

She later also posted a screenshot of what appears to be a direct message on Twitter saying the following: “The house in question was built by the [uMhlathuze] municipality, the MEC Peggy Nkonyeni and [KwaZulu-Natal premier] Sihle Zikalala had said they’d start building the day after the photos went viral. It was even televised on 1KZN. I didn’t have the guts to expose that fraudster [Themba] Rumbu.”

The KwaZulu-Natal department of human settlements has since told EWN that they haven’t received any money from Rumbu, adding that the house, for 89-year-old pensioner Khakho Nxumalo, was built using only government funding.

Questions sent to Rumbu several hours ago have not yet been answered, and we will update this article with his comment if and when we receive it.

UPDATE: This story was updated with Aldrin Sampear’s response, the statement from Olwethu Hoyana, and the KwaZulu-Natal department of human settlement’s response to Rumbu’s claim he had donated money to Gogo Nxumalo’s house. 

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