Sunday, 8 February 2015

Self-proclaimed spirit medium causes stir at court

Leonard Ncube  Victoria Falls Reporter
THE case of five men facing charges of possessing and illegally dealing in ivory took an interesting turn when the mother of one of the accused, a self-proclaimed spirit medium, stormed the Victoria Falls magistrates’ courts and started performing some “rituals.”The woman who said her original name  was Stella Weza Masango Dlamini of Swazi  origin, claimed she had been sent to save the five accused from jail because “they were innocent”.
Stella Weza Masango Dlamini aka Manake Machena
She also called herself Manake Machena, her spiritual name.

Business came to a halt at the magistrate’s court on Friday when the spiritualist, dressed in the  garb of an inyanga arrived to attend the court trial of her 28-year-old son, Francis Simbarashe Nyandoro.

Nyandoro is jointly charged with Munyaradzi Nhanhanga, Freedom Mandundu and Ignatius Msipha for illegal possession of ivory.

The fifth accused, Busani Nyoni is being tried separately for illegally dealing in ivory.

Dlamini aka Machena had initially come to court on Thursday for the trial but was barred from entering the courtroom.

She, however, started screaming and groaning as she performed her rituals, occasionally kneeling down to kiss the ground and calling out “Manake Machena”.

Dlamini caused further commotion when the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers carried the tusk out of court as  she groaned and spoke incoherently while performing her rituals outside, drawing the attention of the gallery and the crowd outside the court.

She returned to court on the following  morning just after two strange things had happened.

A snake was spotted in the courtyard while inmates narrowly escaped death when a tree in  the fenced area used as the prison holding cells behind the court suddenly fell, narrowly missing them.

People were shocked by the two incidents and the spiritualist claimed it was a sign that her son and friends were innocent.

“I’m here because of my son and his friends. They are innocent. The falling tree could be a good sign for them,” she said.

“I’m a spirit and I help those in trouble.”

The woman claimed she was a global peacemaker and would work within her powers to make sure the accused walked scot free.

She claimed it was unjust to charge people for human-animal conflicts as “only God has the power to judge”.

“We’re just fighting a law that doesn’t exist because outside court we’re all human beings. God is the only judge in this.  I’m going to help them spiritually so that they’re released. Many people even do this. Even the rangers do it, I know it because they come to my shrine seeking help when they’re in trouble,” said Machena.

She said the accused persons should be pardoned because they were trying to eke out a living just like anyone else.

“I’m a global peacemaker, dancer and healer and my spirit is an incarnation of my Swazi great grandfather, Nobukhosi. I’ve many  wives and husbands because I’m a spirit,” she claimed.

Asked whether she also believed in Christianity since she claimed God was the ultimate power, Machena said the fact that traditional religion and Christianity were classified was  testimony that there was a powerful spirit free from the two somewhere and that’s where she belongs.

When she was denied entry into the courtroom again on Friday, the spiritualist sat on the floor on the court entrance and warned the security guard not to force her to leave.

The trial continues this week.

The State alleges that Nyoni picked the tusk weighing 9.34kg and sold it to Nhanhanga and Mandundu for 1,000 pula and $15.

The five are denying the charges. Chronicles
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