Bay sangomas sentenced

They were found guilty of forcing a trainee sangoma to walk over burning coals

Two Port Elizabeth sangomas were sentenced for assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Two Port Elizabeth sangomas were sentenced for assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Image: Deneesha Pillay

Two Port Elizabeth sangomas were sentenced on Friday to two years’ correctional supervision and a one-year suspended sentence for assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Nomathamsanqa “Ma Dlamini” Menze, 47, and Lundi Mbange, 29, were sentenced in the New Brighton magistrate’s court.

They were found guilty of forcing trainee sangoma Pumeza Lugawu, 41, to walk over burning coals while she was undergoing a training ritual on July 8 2017.

Lugawu spent three weeks at the Dora Nginza Hospital’s burn unit as a result of the injuries she sustained.

Magistrate Kathy Moodley told the court that if Lugawu had not voluntarily stepped on the burning coals, she would have sent the pair to jail.

Lugawu testified that she had stepped on the coals voluntarily, but when she tried to get off, the pair had forced her to continue walking.

“The complainant was so traumatised that [even] after a year, she was still crying on the stand and also struggling to wear shoes and walk properly,” Moodley said.

“What was brutal about it was that both the accused continued to hold her while she was crying and she couldn’t escape [the coals].”

She said the court needed to teach a lesson to the two.

The court ruled that both accused would get one year in prison suspended for five years, and two years’ correctional supervision which includes community service and various rehabilitation programmes, house arrest between 6pm to 6am on working days and 24 hours on non-working days.

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