Durban - A Durban teacher who claimed to have handed over R450 000 to herbalists to bring back her husband has been arrested for allegedly procuring their services to kill him through a spell.
The drama began on Sunday when the woman arrived with her 18-month-old child to Reaction Unit South Africa offices on Sunday requesting help in in recovering R450 000 she handed over to the herbalists, Prem Balram, Rusa spokesperson said.
"The Indian female explained to officers that she had responded to an advert on Gumtree Ads after she and her husband who is a doctor had separated,” Balram said.
Balram said that she had told them that she lost her home in an estate, her vehicle and a luxury lifestyle and was now living in an outbuilding. She then approached a herbalist who together with a second accomplice had scammed her out of the cash.
She told Rusa that she was given an address at Yardgreen Close in Phoenix and was asked to hand over the money. She said the men promised to reunite her with her estranged husband within days.
She claimed that her husband had not seen or supported their baby girl for months and out of desperation had agreed to meet the herbalist.
She claimed that the armed herbalists first asked for R200 and days later requested to know her husband’s age and then worked out a figure amounting to R118 000. The woman paid the money and according to her, the men requested a total of R450 000 to remove a spell cast on her that would result in the death of her child.
She alleged that she took a loan and paid the money. The men claimed that the money was going to be given back to her after a prayer was conducted. During the prayer the woman said that a black mamba was used and the huge snake was then placed in a white bucket.
The money was wrapped in newspaper and handed back to her. She returned home and found that the money in her possession was photostat copies of a R100 note. The men then contacted her requesting a further R140 000 for a prayer.
That is when the woman contacted Rusa, Balram said.
“Reaction officers proceeded to Yardgreen Place and kept observation over the building.
After a while officers noticed one suspect entering the property in a gold Toyota Corolla. When Reaction officers entered the room the suspect could not be located. He was found exiting a window that he broke in a haste to leave the building through an adjoining room.
A foot chase ensued and he was apprehended. It was later discovered that the room had a drywall installed with a goat skin covering a huge hole in the wall that led to another room.
This was used to swop monies and for the assistant to speak through and create a echoing voice that would be the ancestors speaking during a ritual,” said Balram.
Balram said that during an interview, the man under arrest said that he was a Ugandan national living in Stellenbosch.
He said he had been living in South Africa for 10 years and worked at a chicken outlet before being offered a job as an assistant with a herbalist that claimed to have special powers.
The man also said that he had not scammed the woman but she had approached him to have her husband killed before the divorce was finalised.
He said the woman had become angry that her husband did not collapse and die in court as promised, and then claimed her money back.
According to Balram, the assistant confirmed that the black mamba was used in the ritual and that the woman never requested her husband to be reunited with her that she demanded he be killed as agreed.
The man said that he could provide evidence to support his story as the woman had provided a picture of her husband, contact details, residential details and a note written by her requesting the death of her partner.
“The herbalist’s room was searched and several eggs were found with names on them.
According to the herbalist assistant, when eggs cracked the the person whose name was written on the shell will then die,” said Balram.
Balram said the matter has been handed over to the police for gathering of evidence and further investigation.