My encounter with a ‘wizard’

Sharon Mathala
NARRATING THE STORY: Lebele

• Naked man says midnight visit was in search of rabbit’s tongue

• He said he was following ‘badimo’ – Police

For many, a past midnight encounter with a naked wizard is the stuff of mythology, but 60-year-old Nkwe Lebele of Oodi Village reckons he has lived to tell the tale.

Lebele reached out to The Voice after he briefly appeared at the Oodi main kgotla to answer for a charge of alleged assault following reports by relatives of a man who had appeared in Lebele’s yard naked, claiming to be looking of a rabbit’s tongue.

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Narrating his bizarre encounter, Lebele said, “The brother of the wizard that intruded and or criminally trespassed at my home around 2 am two weekends ago lodged a complaint against me for assaulting their brother, a famous businessman in Oodi Village”

Storming out of the Kgotla after the case was dismissed, Lebele told The Voice that he was extremely disappointed with the law enforcement that he is the one who stood accused of assault when he could have been the one looking for answers from police and village elders, as to what a naked man was doing at his home past midnight.

“I had retired to bed early that night but, at around 2am, my niece came rushing to my room, screaming for help. I quickly jumped out of bed to attend to her because I thought maybe they were being attacked,” he said.

The family home is made out of about five houses. Lebele stays in one part of the yard with his wife while his nieces and nephews sleep at the far end of the yard.

When he went to investigate what had scared the niece, Lebele said he did not anticipate what he was about to encounter.

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“I found my nephew wrestling with a naked man. I was coming from the back so I could not see this man’s face at the time, so I joined in to try and restrain him. Upon close inspection of this individual, it looked like he had smeared himself with ashes and he looked very distressed,” Lebele further said.

“I managed to restrain him and that is when I realised who he was. We are a small village, so yes I know him, he is a local businessman. After restraining him, I instructed my nephew to go call his family while I called he police.”

Lebele said to explain his strange early morning visit, the man had said he was looking for a rabbit’s tongue to go with the porridge (Tsabana) he had cooked, but we don’t keep rabbits and we asked him why at our house and he couldn’t explain that. He kept repeating that he was desperately looking for a rabbit’s tongue.”

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According to Lebele, the naked man further pleaded with them to let him go and promised he would leave them alone.

“I won’t meddle in your life anymore,” the man is alleged to have said.
However, to his surprise, three days later, Lebele was arrested by the Oodi kgotla police and summoned to answer for an assault charge.

Assistant Superintendent, Maemo Victor Leshiba Leshiba, said, “The assault charge has been withdrawn because as we investigated the matter, the man told us that he did not know where he was and how he had ended up in a stranger’s yard except that he was following the voice of badimo(ancestors).”

“The man’s home was also in a messy state, it looked like he trashed everything first before he was found at this yard in Matshukudu ward. I don’t have all the answers as yet because the incident is still fresh but we are currently investigating an illegal trespassing case because unfortunately we don’t recognise or handle cases of witchcraft,” said Leshibi.

Meanwhile, the businessman has been referred to the doctor for mental health examination.

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