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Police arrest fake Ugandan traditional healer wanting to con woman out of her stokvel earnings

Cape Town – A traditional healer from Uganda is set to appear in Balfour Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, after attempting to scam a woman out of her stokvel earnings.

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The near-victim was too quick-thinking and this led to the suspects’ arrest.

According to police, the 42-year-old woman who was about to be conned outsmarted her potential predator.

Mpumalanga provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the incident took place on Monday and the suspect faces charges of fraud.

Mohlala said the Ugandan national pretended to be a traditional healer and tried preying on the victim under the suspicion of looking for directions.

As a token of appreciation, the woman was offered a lift to Balfour where the pair became acquainted and exchanged phone numbers.

“The two are said to have started contacting each other, and as their communication gained momentum, the suspect ended up visiting the victim at her residential place. The suspect overheard the victim and her friends talking about the dividends of their hard-earned Stokvel savings,” Mohlala said.

It is alleged the suspect advised the victim to go up to the mountain so he could pray for the money and then head to the river to cleanse it.

Mohlala said the “traditional healer” maintained his trustworthiness throughout.

The suspect came back with a box full of some blank notes and asked the victim to bring him boiling water.

He allegedly then put three money-sized notes into the water, and sprinkled powder onto the blank sheets of paper.

The paper then turned into what looked like real South African bank notes.

Suspicious of his actions, the victim alerted the police and the suspect was found at her house.

“An investigation was launched and upon searching his belongings, police found a box with blank notes that resembled South African Bank notes inside his car. The investigation revealed that some of the well-cut paper fitting the size of money was found wrapped with real R100 bank notes.

“The suspect was arrested and charged with fraud and will be appearing before the Balfour Magistrate’s Court on December 21, 2022.

“Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges of contravening the Immigration Act against the suspect,” Mohlala said.

Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela welcomed the arrest.

“Perpetrators of crime must take note that the province of Mpumalanga will never be allowed to be a playground for dirty deals,” Manamela said.

robin.francke@inl.co.za

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