Sangoma spill blood

Oleosi Kgosi
STABBED: Onkemetse Lochia(L), ACCUSED SANGOMA: Olebogeng Kgaolo(R)

A fall-out between four sangomas ended before Mogodishane Customary Court last Monday morning, where one of the traditional healers involved admitted stabbing his rival in the neck.

Despite pleading guilty to common assault, Olebogeng Kgaolo, 31, was spared jail after it was revealed the knife had in fact been brandished by the injured man, 25-year-old Onkemetse Lochia.

It further emerged Kgaolo only intervened in the bust-up to protect his trainer, Gadimang Gwebu, who ‘was like a mother to him’ and was being harassed by Lochia and his girlfriend, Mphoentle Thebeetsile.

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The trouble dates back to early afternoon on 26 March, when Lochia accompanied his partner to Gwebu’s dwelling, a ‘school’ for sangomas where they both used to train.

Speaking in court, the complainant said upon arrival, they asked to see Gwebu, who was engaged in the consultation room at the time and not expecting them.

Agitated by the delay, Lochia became persistent until the teacher finally abandoned her client to attend to the duo.

“Gadimang took pictures and videos of me without my consent and that’s what made me angry that I confiscated her phone,” declared Lochia.

The disruption reached the ears of Kgaolo, who was resting in another room. He stormed out and rushed to his mentor’s aid, charging towards the other man.

Seconds into the scuffle, Lochia was seen bleeding, screaming out that he had been stabbed.

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Backing up her lover’s version of events, Thebeetsile, 28, told court they had travelled from Oodi to Gwebu’s dwelling to collect her remaining belongings.

“I had left my stuff that I use for healing activities such as beads, black skirt regalia, white cloth and a basin,” she explained.

“After the stabbing we ran away and called out for help from passer-bys. Fortunately, a good Samaritan gave us a lift to Nkoyaphiri Clinic where we got referred to Princess Marina Hospital for medical intervention,” Thebeetsile continued.

Defending his actions, in his evidence, the accused insisted Lochia had intended to stab Gwebu but inadvertently ended up injuring himself instead.

“What I did was to only jump behind him then he fell on the knife he was holding and he hurt himself,” maintained Kgaolo.

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Speaking on her student’s behalf, Gwebu confirmed she had indeed hosted the couple as her trainees in the past.

“I have given Lochia accommodation but along the way I realised we were often in discord and that is when I chased him out and told him to never step foot in my yard ever again. His girlfriend chose to follow him,” revealed Gwebu before court.

The revered traditional healer further claimed that on the day in question, she took out her phone to record the harassment, an act which flustered Lochia.

Presiding over the sangoma saga, Kgosi Tswina Mochudi said the couple were wrong to go to Gwebu’s place unannounced, especially after she had stipulated they were no longer welcome at her place.

“Was it difficult for you to heed Gwebu’s complaint and return from where you came from?” demanded Kgosi Mochudi.

He further pointed out that had Thebeetsile gone to collect her stuff alone, the scuffle could have been avoided.

The chief then handed down a six-month suspended sentence, providing Kgaolo does not commit a similar offence within one year.

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Expressing disappointment at the verdict, Lochia vowed to appeal the ruling, noting that since sustaining his injury, he is unable to carry out his job as a builder efficiently.

“I am not able to sustain myself hence I seek remuneration,” concluded the wannabe sangoma bitterly.

Sangoma spill blood
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