‘Healers’ swindle mom out of R1m

Herald Reporter

A WOMAN’S desperation to be healed has turned into a financial nightmare after she was swindled out of more than R1-million. Iris Morris, 49, of Cotswold, Port Elizabeth, said she had lost nearly R1.2-million after she turned to a “spiritual healer” for help in a desperate bid to end an illness she had suffered from for years.

Morris described the illness as a type of depression and said she could not sleep, eat or even brush her hair.

“In March, I said to my friend that if I don’t get help, I am going to the [Van Stadens] bridge. He came with the Daily Sun and I saw an advert for a spiritual healer called Prof Mama Mary and I decided to try it because I was desperate,” she said.

Morris phoned the woman and made an appointment to meet her at the spiritual healer’s Central home.

“I did a consultation with her which cost about R100 and she told me everything about what was happening to me and it was all true. She then gave me a tea-like drink and lit some muti and told me to inhale it and I felt better,” she said.

Morris said she continued to visit the spiritual healer whenever her illness resurfaced but started to become suspicious when the healer’s brother, Ayo, became involved in their consultations.

She said the healers told her to sell her house to be treated and to avoid passing her illness to her son.

Fearing that her son would also suffer, Morris said she had “no choice” but to do what they said.

The two told Morris they needed all her “sweat money” – things she had worked to buy including her house and car – to heal her completely. She had to wash her sweat off the money.

“I resigned from my work after 31 years of service and I put my house on the market. They told me to open two business bank accounts and put the money in there … and I eventually withdrew all of the money,” she said.

“I brought the money to them and after I had washed off the sweat, I put the money in the safe, locked it with the key, took the safe and put it in the car and drove home where I put it in my cupboard. I was not allowed to talk to anyone about this nor … to open the safes because they told me my money would burn to ashes.”

Ayo later told her to give him the key to which she yielded after being threatened with her illness. They told her to wait 49 hours for a “treasure” to arrive, but nothing happened.

Morris tried to contact the two and after about two weeks she went to their house to find they had disappeared. A stranger, calling himself Dr Kind, said he would help her as Mama Mary and Ayo had followed incorrect procedures.

“He told me that he was there only for the day and I had to pay him the equivalent of my son’s age and my age in thousands. I told him I didn’t have money and he said that I should sell my car. The next morning… I sold my car and my mother gave me the rest of the money,” she said

“I met him at a McDonald’s and gave him the money. He said I should spit three times on each safe and it would open. I went home and did that and nothing happened … I never heard from him again.”

Eventually, Morris, her son and a friend opened the safes to only find stacks of blank paper.

“The money in there was between R1.15-million and R1.2-million,” she said.

Police Captain Stanley Jarvis said the matter was under investigation.

  • Morris was seriously injured in a car crash while travelling to Durban on Friday, shortly after this interview. She is in a critical condition in the Livingstone Hospital’s high care unit.

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