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I’m a witch, says woman

MASERU — A woman in Ha-Makhalanyane last week shocked people at a funeral when she claimed to have bewitched the person they were mourning.

‘Matokelo Namane, 54, told mourners she had bewitched ‘Mamotlotla Motlotla because she was “too selfish and she thought that she was smart”.

The Sunday Express witnessed part of the confession.

Namane’s mental stability could not be established at the time of going to print.

Marole Motlotla, the deceased’s husband, said Namane had started confessing after they found her stark naked in one of the tents pitched for the funeral’s night vigil.

Motlotla said his wife died at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital on July 23.

“I later heard rumours that some of the women in the village were said to be responsible for my wife’s death,” Marole said.

He said he then hired a traditional healer to establish the cause of death. He said the healer, Matséliso Moerane, arrived at the homestead on the eve of the vigil.

“The healer told us that she had a feeling that my wife had been bewitched,” Marole said.

The drama started on Saturday morning, at round 10.30 am, when some of the mourners discovered Namane naked in one of the tents.

When the Sunday Express arrived at Motlotla’s residence Moerane and some other family members had taken Namane into one of the houses for questioning.

An angry mob was milling in the yard demanding instant justice.

Namane told stunned mourners that she had killed ‘Mamotlotla.

“I killed ‘Mamotlotla. She was too selfish and she thought she was smart,” Namane said.

She said she had been assisted by two other women from the same village.

“I dried a plant called lemana-mana, ground it and then sprinkled it on the path which ‘Mamotlotla used,” said Namane as she trembled with fear.

Apparently lemana-mana is believed to be a portion used to tame wild men.

“I just want to free myself from these people outside. I can tell that they are thirsty for my blood, they are going to kill me,” Namane said.

By that time she had soiled herself.

The healer started demanding that Namane compensate her with a cow because she had soiled her muti with her faeces.

Namane said she did not have a cow.

“I don’t have a cow. You can do anything you want. I don’t have a cow,” said Namane.

A sobbing Namane shook her head as she was afraid that the people would kill her.

A representative of the chief of Ha-Makhalanyane later came and asked that Namane be handed over to him.

He said he had been sent to collect Namane and pleaded with the mourners to allow Namane to leave the house.

After a lengthy discussion with the family members and the traditional healer she was released and taken to the chief’s compound.

Motlotla later said Namane had been ordered out of the village the same day and told never to come back.

A villager said she did not believe that Namane really meant what she said.

She said she believed Namane might have had too much drink.

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