A traditional healer from Beitbridge has been arrested on allegations of causing the death of a woman he claimed was possessed with demons in a botched exorcism ritual.

Police in Matabeleland South confirmed Cephas Ncube,50, had been arrested and would be charged with murder over the death of Tsebi Nyathi,30, of Manyani area under Chief Marupi in Gwanda District.

Matabeleland South ZRP spokesman, Inspector Philisani Ndebele said the bizarre incident happened on Sunday in Beitbridge.

“On an unknown date in August this year, Nyathi visited her relative Kayiso Tlou and stayed there,” Ndebele said.

“Sometime this month, Nyathi developed a mental problem and on the 8th of September her relatives Ruth Moyo and Lesedi Mdlongwa both of Tsokotsoko area under Chief Stauze in Beitbridge, took her to Ncube’s homestead since he is a traditional healer so that the evil spirits could be exorcised.

“The suspect made fire and burnt some herbs and forced Nyathi to inhale the smoke while covered with a blanket. Nyathi resisted but Ncube, Moyo and Mdlongwa grabbed her and forced her to inhale the smoke.”

During the struggle, Nyathi sustained some facial burns and died the following day, neighbours told police investigators.

A report was made to the police and it was discovered that Nyathi had died as a result
of serious facial burns sustained during the ritual, said Inspector Ndebele.

He said investigations were carried out leading to the arrest of Ncube who is expected to appear in court soon to answer to charges of murder.

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