“When I told people who I was, they ran away from me in fear,” he said.
“Some even cried and collapsed, thinking they were seeing a dead man walking.”
Madala Isaac Mathebula (64), originally from Hluvukani near Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, left his home to work for a construction company in Durban, KZN, 30 years ago.
But then he vanished!
For more than 20 years the family heard nothing from him.
Four years ago a hospital in Gauteng informed the family that Isaac had died after a long illness.
His wife and four kids borrowed R8 000 from a mashonisa and gave him a decent funeral. They also spent a lot of money on a cleansing ceremony last year.
But on Friday, terrified screams could be heard in a street of Rolle in Limpopo, where the Mathebula family now lives.
Isaac’s mum Norah Mathebula (84) almost collapsed when she saw her “dead” son walking into the yard.
“We checked the birthmarks of the man who died in hospital and he also told nurses he was my son,” said Norah.
“We even found horse-racing tickets in his pocket and Isaac loved to gamble.”
Isaac told Daily Sun he has been living in KZN where he has another wife and kids. He suspects one of his colleagues might have stolen his identity and moved to Gauteng.
“I started getting nightmares,” said Isaac.
“I saw myself lying in a coffin surrounded by my mourning family.”
He said he thought something might be wrong and he wanted to visit his family.
“A sangoma told me I would get nightmares until I went home.”
He said when he got home, his mother asked the family to touch him to make sure it was him.
Gogo Norah said they are planning a ritual.
“We will welcome Isaac back home and reunite him with his ancestors,” she said.