IZANGOMA go to rivers for holy purposes, where they perform rituals and cleanse their clients.
But some people go to the same rivers with unholy intentions.
This is because thugs are now targeting izangoma and prophets at rivers.
They hide in the bushes and wait for the healers to get into the water before grabbing their belongings and fleeing.
And in some extreme cases, they threatened izangoma with knifes while demanding their belongings.
Police spokesman Captain Solomon Sibiya from Kagiso cop shop said the most targeted stream was the one not far from Chief Mogale RDP houses in Kagiso, Mogale City
“We suspect thugs go there because not many people pass there,” said Sibiya.
The SunTeam visited the stream and found izangoma and prophets performing rituals.
Some were willing to speak to the SunTeam, but others said they were busy with clients.
Sangoma Manzini Buthelezi (49) said he was aware that healers were being robbed.
“I know of one sangoma who was robbed together with his client after they got into the water. It looks like these people were hiding in the bush, but the sangoma and his client were not aware.”
He said while cleansing a patient in a small stream in Kagiso last week, their cellphones and clothes were taken by thugs.
“It shows people have lost respect for amadlozi because we are here because of them,” he said.
Another sangoma told Daily Sun he and a client visited the stream last week and thugs pounced on them before they even got into the water.
“They took my Samsung phone and my client’s handbag with cash and her cellphone. It’s tough,” said the sangoma.
But prophet Amon Madida (55) refuses to take this lying down.
He sent a strong message to the thugs, warning them to stay away.
“We are here to help our clients. Those thugs will pay a heavy price if they continue to steal from us. They will face our ancestors’ wrath,” he said.
Client Sizakele Mbewe (29) said she visited the river to be cleansed so she could get a job.
“It’s hard. I lost my job in June last year and things are not going right for me. I had to be cleansed in order for my path to open,” she said.
Captain Sibiya said three izangoma were robbed by thugs.
“We ask all those who visit streams to perform rituals to be extra careful,” he said.
Cops warned izangoma and their patients to be careful when visiting these areas.