Tzaneen - A sick 10-year-old girl has sparked a violent witch-hunt after she said a sangoma had bewitched her.
Angry community members stormed the sangoma's house in Mbambamencisi near Tzaneen on Saturday and set fire to her divining bones and bottles of muthi.
Now, the 53-year-old sangoma and her three grandchildren have packed up their belongings and left the informal settlement.
The father of the sick girl, Azaria Khosa, said his daughter, who is in Grade 3, became sick on Christmas Day. "She developed sores all over her body. We took her to the clinic and even to medical doctors but to no avail," he said.
He said the young girl was soon unable to walk, eat or speak. "We consulted a prophet who told us that she has been turned into a zombie," said Khosa. On Saturday morning, the young girl rose from her bed and walked to the sangoma's house, some 100 metres away.
She then accused the sangoma of causing her sickness and demanded to be cured. "The young girl's eyes were red and she looked like she was in a trance," said a neighbour, Rosie Mkharhi. Police were called to the scene after angry community members stormed the sangoma's house and burnt her utensils. No one was arrested.
Ritavi police spokesperson Inspector Seth Magadzi said on Monday he was not aware of the incident, but promised to investigate.
Meanwhile, the little girl is still sick and her family is hoping to find another sangoma to cure her.