Cape Town - Disappointed customers of the infamous “Zombie Queen” are coming forward faster than the people she claimed she could raise from the dead.
On Tuesday, scores of people gathered at the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court ahead of sangoma Nolonwabo “Sibongile” Mangele’s appearance.
The 50-year-old sangoma is facing two counts of fraud for telling people she could resurrect their dearly departed.
She allegedly conned people out of thousands of rands after telling them their dead relatives needed money, food, toiletries and clothing as she nursed them back to life.
Mangele walked into the courtroom clutching a brown bag, dressed in a print skirt and short-sleeved top.
She stood with a bowed head throughout the short proceedings.
Her bail application was postponed to Thursday to allow the court to get a Zulu translator.
“She didn’t need a Zulu translator when she was taking our money with her lies,” shouted someone.
Anathi Mathibe, 25, says Mangele spoke Xhosa when she was living at their Eerste River home.
“That woman traumatised us during her time at home,” says Anathi.
“We would wake up in the middle of the night to hear babies crying and she would tell us it’s her zombies and they wanted milk.
“The other times those same zombies wanted Reds ciders but strangely enough we could smell the alcohol on her breath.”
Anathi says the “babies” were wrapped up in blankets, and sometimes Mangele would chase them around the yard with her “zombies”.
Philippi resident Zamekile Jim, 55, says he had deposited R3 000 into Mangele’s account days before her arrest in Cathcart in the Eastern Cape on January 18.
Zamikile had wanted his daughter Nomathansanqa brought back to life after she died in 2012.
Mangele charged him R30 000, and he gave her R15 000, with the rest to be paid once his daughter was “back”.
A week later the sangoma asked for R1 500, saying Nomathansanqa had been admitted to hospital.
“As the months went on I was allowed to speak to her over the phone.
“I even bought an expensive phone for her.
“I was surprised when I saw Sibongile using it, but she said the ancestors wouldn’t allow my daughter a phone.”
Mangele then enrolled his daughter into university, and he forked out another R15 000 last year “for her graduation”.
“The last money she asked for was R3 000 for their transport to come back.
“Imagine my surprise when I heard about her arrest and that everything was a lie.”