Pretoria - The Christians of South Africa (Cosa) group on Monday criticised traditional healer Gogo Ntoleng for predicting that the African National Congress (ANC) would receive a bigger share of voter support than it did in last week's general election.
The sangoma was hosted on the South African Broadcasting Corporation's Full View show before the elections. She predicted that the governing party would receive 60.7% of all votes cast. It ended up with 57.50%.
"The main aim of this act of conspiracy was to scare off the opposition vote and create a delusion of the ANC's victory," said Cosa president, pastor Derick Mosoana.
"The mischievous utterance of this sangoma as broadcasted live on the SABC, 10 hours before the actual vote, is a direct contributor [to the low] voter turnout and an increased percentage of spoiled ballots," said Mosoana.
Those believing in ancestors were "lured into the fallacy that the ANC has already won - making it pointless to vote for an opposition party of choice," he added.
"Cosa believes that the sangoma's rehearsed predictions were part of the ANC, the public broadcaster and state intelligence to create discomfort, mistrust and loss of interest in the opposition parties - so as to allow solidified ruling party support and [increased] chances of victory."
The group wants Ntoleng arrested.
It was bizarre, said Mosoana, that law enforcement agencies like the Hawks and the custodians of religious matters in South Africa - the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) and the Traditional Healer's Councils, had not denounced "this devilish practice".
"South Africa is still recovering from the torments of fake religious practices in churches and Tuesday's televised events opened the healing wounds leaving the country bleeding worse than before. The same energy and hype that the CRL Rights Commission used against pastors and foreign nationals practising in the country should be used to denounce this act of treason. Sangomas must not be allowed to be used in their practices for political gimmicks," said Mosoana.
Ntoleng ended up trending on social media platforms, particularly on micro-blogging site Twitter, after she threw her bones during the live broadcast.
African News Agency (ANA)