Tsikamutandas tear family apart

Hazel Marimbiza
A KEZI family has been ripped apart by witch-hunters commonly known as tsikamutandas. They accused one of the family members of killing and later exhuming the body of a 14-year-old boy for witchcraft purposes.

At the centre of the family storm is Soul Moyo, an uncle to the deceased boy, accused of killing his nephew and later turning him into a goblin.

The boy is said to have died about three years ago under unclear circumstances leading to the grandmother agreeing with the witch-hunters (ABOVE) that Moyo, a local grinding mill owner, had a hand in the death of the minor and subsequent witchcraft allegations.

The minor ironically worked for Moyo before his untimely death.

Speaking to B-Metro, Sakhe Nyathi — the deceased’s grandmother — said she still could not comprehend how the minor jumped onto his uncle’s back moments before collapsing and dying.

“My grandson had been complaining of stomach pains prior to his death. Then one day when Soul passed through my homestead, my grandson who had been lying on the bed writhing in pain suddenly jumped on his (Soul) back and died a few moments later. That is not normal behaviour especially for a sick 14-year-old boy,” said Nyathi.

Three years after the boy passed away and still haunted by the freak death of her grandson, Nyathi decided to consult witch-hunters.

“I decided to seek help from tsikamutandas and they told me that my grandson is not in his grave. They said he was removed from the grave by Soul and turned into a goblin,” she said.

According to Nyathi, the man accused of killing her grandson refused the hunters entry into his homestead.

“The witch-hunters wanted to remove my grandson from Soul’s homestead but he would not allow them access into his homestead. My grandson had been working for Soul as a mealie-meal miller before he died.  What is he hiding?” she asked rhetorically.

However, Moyo’s wife Siphiwe rubbished witchcraft allegations levelled against her husband and insisted the boy had died as a result of stomach pains.

Siphiwe instead accused Nyathi of poisoning the minor.

“When we gave the boy food he refused to eat meat saying he had consumed meat prepared by his grandmother and it had left him feeling uncomfortable. He continuously complained of stomach pains and we told him to go back home. After a few days my husband then decided to visit him. As my husband was approaching and still afar his nephew came to him running. They hugged and the boy again complained of stomach pains. After that he died.

Siphiwe further lambasted the witch-hunters for accusing her husband. She labelled them frauds who swindle villagers of their hard earned money.

Tsikamutandas are only after our wealth. We won’t allow them to enter our home because we don’t know what they are talking about. We know they are just after our money,” she said.