“They ate my sacred animal alive on Thursday night. I found my tortoise the next morning lying in a pool of blood.”
Sangoma Nomathongo, from KwaZak- hele in Port Elizabeth, is chairwoman of Nyanga Zezizwe Traditional Healers, and throughout the Metro she is a well-known leader of sangomas.
The sangoma said the rats ate her tortoise inside its shell while it was still alive.
“All four of the legs were gone and part of the head and neck were damaged. My animal was dead and I could not help it,” the sangoma said.
“I found this tortoise in the northern Eastern Cape and I was hoping to keep it. Sangomas love tortoises because they are sacred and tokoloshes hate them. They keep away from these creatures. Sangomas do not use evil muthi and that is why we keep tortoises in our houses.
She said the rats had also eaten holes through her ceilings.
“At night we hear them running around in the ceiling. It is so loud, we cannot sleep,” she said. “The rats eat my groceries. They even chew through the plastic containers I keep the groceries in. I am tired of buying food for the rats.”
She said the big rodents do not respect the ancestors, because they even eat the muthi in her rondavel.
“It is a holy house where I conduct my consultations, but I can’t keep the rats out,” she said. “They don’t eat the poison that I put out. They eat only my food and my muthi. They come up from the drains to torment us at night,” she said.
Metro spokesman Mtubanzi Mti said: “We will send officials from the health department. Anybody who is having trouble with rats can contact our health department or their local councillor.”