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Sangomas cannot make you rich

JOHANNESBURG - Prophets or sangomas cannot double your money.

21 January 2013 | Aphiwe Boyce and Lesego Motshegwa

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Kew-based traditional healer Linah Manaso said with a laugh, "Where would the extra money come from? People who want to become rich should work hard.”

Bramley police warned that prophets and sangomas, whether real or fake, could not double money. Supposed cash purification was an irresistible opportunity to scammers.

Bramley police spokesperson Warrant Officer Moses Maphakela said a 46-year-old man of Alexandra had responded to an advertisement in a Sunday newspaper about a traditional healer named Mama Tina.

The client made an appointment for cleansing and money blessing. The man was charged R2 800 for a healing immersion bath by Mama Tina, who then told him to withdraw all his money from the bank.

The man withdrew various amounts to a total of R709 000. When he called to ask if Mama Tina had completed blessing the money, the healer told the man to bring a cow to 'wash' the money.

The victim had no money left to buy a cow. This healer then said she could not bless the cash, and would keep it. In another fake money-washing incident, a 53-year-old woman visited a sangoma named Konte, who warned that she would lose her money unless she brought it to him to pray over.

The woman withdrew R49 000 from her account and left the cash with the sangoma. When she returned the next day, the sangoma was not there. Police are investigating the two cases.

Asked about the popularity of powers or potions for goals other than health, Manaso explained that wisdom and skill for healing came from ancestors. She noted that exorbitant prices charged for supposed miracles were unacceptable. “We are given a standard price list by our trainers when we graduate.

"Healer may change for services as they please, but it must be reasonable. You will know from your gut feeling when your price is unfair," she said. "You should only take a client's money if you know that you can help.”

She supported the Traditional Healers Forum Johannesburg Chapter in regulating the alternative health industry, since it would minimise fraud and allow clients to hold traditional healers accountable for wild promises.

“Support for regulation is needed because we need to be known for what we do. You cannot be a healer and think about money first.

“It’s a crime to take people's money without helping them. Those fakes should be arrested.”

In yet another cash stash doubling scam, a victim had her money miraculously increased in a trunk in a fake church in Diepsloot, only to have the trunk stolen from her home, and replaced by an identical trunk filled with black paper.

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