PRETORIA - Concerned traditional healers on Monday attended a court case in Moretele Magistrate's court, north of Pretoria, in which one of their own is accused of raping a woman during an initiation ceremony.
The 22-year-old woman claims she was assaulted by her trainer, who had allegedly been abusing her since her training to become a Sangoma (traditional healer) started in February last year.
The woman from Protea North, Soweto, said that during the initiation in Hammanskraal, her trainer told her that her ancestors wanted them to be in a relationship so that her initiation would progress smoothly.
She said she agreed because she was not well informed about the initiation practices.
She said after the initiation, she went back home and was informed by another traditional healer that Mawela had cursed her not to get a man.
She returned to him after he promised to remove the curse, but upon her arrival, she was allegedly assaulted and raped by the accused.
On Monday, the young woman sat through the proceedings dressed in a black and white outfit and sunglasses. She was seated next to an older woman who was seen rubbing her shoulder to comfort her.
Traditional healers, who were mostly seated at the back of the courtroom, were heard belching - which they described as a gesture to signify the energy released by the ancestors.
After a long day in court, the lanky accused ,22, walked into the courtroom wearing a grey hoodie and jeans. He looked straight at the Magistrate with his hands behind his back.
Through his legal representative, he told the court that he would lose clients and suffer financial harm if he is not released on bail.
He was granted R1,500 bail after the court was informed the State would not oppose bail.
The matter was postponed to July 16.
African News Agency (ANA)